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Little Yellow House: Becoming rentABLE Goes Beyond Wheelchair Access

Published: 2022-10-19 - Updated: 2022-11-09
Author: Lorraine Woodward | Contact: BecomingRentABLE.com
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: Home Accessibility Publications

Synopsis: More than just wheelchair accessible, the property showcases well-designed accessible features incorporated into every room and accommodates a wide variety of disabilities. Becoming rentABLE strives to bring visibility to the need for accessible, short-term rentals through education about accessible design, construction, and renovation. There's a lot this place can teach occupational therapy and physical therapy students. And we want to show property owners and property managers what is achievable with some planning.

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Main Digest

Creating a Gold Standard Accessible Short-Term Rental

A sweet 1950's charmer might be small at 1,200 square feet but is exceptional for accessibility for individuals and families with disabilities. More than just wheelchair accessible, the property, located at 1615 Tyler Street in Conway, AR, showcases well-designed accessible features beautifully incorporated into every room and packs a lot of punch in accommodating a wide variety of disabilities, including those related to vision, hearing, Autism, and intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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The "Little Yellow House," as it is affectionately known, is part of the work of Becoming rentABLE, a company dedicated to advocating for accessible short-term vacation rentals and changing the way we think of accessibility to be more fully inclusive. The company, created in 2021, is the brainstorm of founder Lorraine Berry Woodward, a Conway native whose own story includes years of frustration trying to find accessible short-term vacation rentals for her family of four, three of whom have mobility issues due to Muscular Dystrophy.

"If you are one of the more than 63 million Americans with some form of disability, you likely know how difficult it is to find an accessible short-term rental to meet your needs as they are in great demand but in short supply," said Woodward. "That's why my team and I took action to start Becoming rentABLE."

Becoming rentABLE strives to bring visibility to the need for accessible, short-term rentals through education about accessible design, construction, and renovation.

"We know the demand is there as there are tens of thousands of searches a month on booking platforms for accessible rentals," said Woodward. "We want to increase the supply and make it easy for accessible rentals to be found."

The Little Yellow House leads by example. Originally a 900-square-foot mid-century American-style cottage home built in the 1950s, it was purchased with the sole purpose of transforming the space into a fully accessible short-term rental. More than just having an entry ramp and wheelchair-accessible bathroom, the property was expanded to 1,200 square feet and has multiple accessibility features to accommodate all tasks of daily living, allowing it to serve as an educational tool to showcase accessible renovation.

"We not only wanted to create a comfortable place for travelers who need more than standard hotel room accommodations but also a place where medical professionals and students could get hands-on practical learning experience about accessibility in daily living," said Woodward, adding "There's a lot this place can teach occupational therapy and physical therapy students. And we want to show property owners and property managers what is achievable with a little planning."

Exterior photo of the little yellow house.
Exterior photo of the little yellow house.

Exterior:

Hard surface driveway, wheelchair van accessible parking, gently ramped entry with a clear path from the parking area to door, keyless locks.

The open-air deck space provides plenty of room for family and friends get-togethers.
The open-air deck space provides plenty of room for family and friends get-togethers.

Interior:

Secondary child safety locks on exit doors, 36" doorways with zero thresholds throughout, levered door handles throughout, wheelchair-accessible electrical outlets, USB ports, light switches, ceiling fan, and hard surface flooring (no rugs or carpeting).

Kitchen:

The kitchen is designed for accessibility and features a wheel-under custom kitchen table and sink, an accessible microwave, an accessible stove, and much more.
The kitchen is designed for accessibility and features a wheel-under custom kitchen table and sink, an accessible microwave, an accessible stove, and much more.

Wheel-under custom kitchen table, wheel-under kitchen sink, accessible microwave, wheel-under accessible stove with up-front controls, front loading dishwasher, wheel-under accessible oven, elevated dishwasher, accessible cabinet toe kick area for coffee bar, wheelchair accessible open pantry with easy pull-out drawers, pull out food prep workspaces, floor-level pull- out drawer with built-in water and food station bowls for service animals.

Accessible floor-level pull-out drawer with built-in water and food station bowls for service animals.
Accessible floor-level pull-out drawer with built-in water and food station bowls for service animals.

Mud Room:

Front-loading elevated washer and dryer.

Bathroom:

Wheel-under bathroom sink, lever faucet handles, accessible mirror, electric lift toilet, toilet grab bars, roll-in shower, shower grab bars, handheld shower head, mounted shower bench, two linear shower drains, rolling shower chair.

Accessible bathroom area with the wheel-under bathroom sink, electric lift toilet, toilet grab bars, roll-in shower, shower grab bars, and other accessibility features.
Accessible bathroom area with the wheel-under bathroom sink, electric lift toilet, toilet grab bars, roll-in shower, shower grab bars, and other accessibility features.

Bedroom:

Adjustable bed in both bedrooms, a Hoyer lift, electrical/USB outlets reachable from the bedside, black-out window coverings in bedrooms, and a noise machine.

The accessible bedrooms feature adjustable beds, a Hoyer lift, electrical and USB outlets, and black-out window coverings.
The accessible bedrooms feature adjustable beds, a Hoyer lift, electrical and USB outlets, and black-out window coverings.

Autism/IDD Focus:

Safety covers on outlets, locked chemical storage, LED lighting (no fluorescent lighting) throughout, dimmer switches throughout, night lights, TVs securely anchored to the wall, blackout curtains in the bedrooms and living room, weighted blanket, strobing alarms/audio alarm detectors, muted color scheme, easily detectible switch plates, anti-glare surfaces, a patio glider, low-E noise canceling insulated glass windows, high R-value noise-canceling wall, and attic insulation, soft accessible climate control.

Wheel-under wheelchair-accessible stove and cooking preparation area.
Wheel-under wheelchair-accessible stove and cooking preparation area.

Woodward explains the targeted areas for Becoming rentABLE to promote accessible short-term rentals, including college and university environments and vacation destinations. Conway, known as the city of colleges, has three - Hendrix College, the University of Central Arkansas, and Central Baptist College - and there was no existing fully accessible short-term rental in the region.

"The area was also well-known to us, as the little yellow house is just blocks away from my childhood home and is just around the corner from my alma mater, Hendrix College," said Woodward, adding, "A property such as this is unique in a unique place."

The Little Yellow House is listed as a short-term rental on both VRBO and Airbnb. For more information or to help sponsor the Conway project, contact Woodward and her team at info@becomingrentable.com or visit Becoming rentABLE. You can also view a video of the Little Yellow House before staging.

Reference Source(s):

Little Yellow House: Becoming rentABLE Goes Beyond Wheelchair Access | Lorraine Woodward (BecomingRentABLE.com). Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity or length.

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Cite This Page (APA): Lorraine Woodward. (2022, October 19). Little Yellow House: Becoming rentABLE Goes Beyond Wheelchair Access. Disabled World. Retrieved January 27, 2023 from www.disabled-world.com/disability/accessibility/homes/little-yellow-home.php

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