Here are some things that you want to check before moving into any apartment:
- Does the parking lot feature designated handicapped spaces within reasonable proximity to your apartment?
- If the apartment complex offers a business center, gym, pool or other public spaces, are these facilities wheelchair accessible? If not, is the management willing to make accommodations so that you can take full advantage of the apartment amenities?
- Are all doors within the apartment at least 32-inches wide? If not, there's a good chance that your wheelchair won't fit, limiting your mobility throughout the apartment.
- How wide are the hallways? While you can expect a wheelchair to fit down most hallways, you need to make sure that you have the space needed to turn into other rooms and pass other members of your household without too much discomfort.
- What type of flooring does the apartment feature? You will need hard floor surfaces or low carpeting that makes rolling a wheelchair easy.
Are the light switches and thermostat low enough for you to reach from your wheelchair?
- How high are the kitchen counters and bathroom sinks?
- Is the kitchen designed with enough space for you to maneuver a wheelchair while cooking? If the kitchen features an island, make sure that you still have enough space to move around
- Does the bathroom feature grab bars and a wide tub or shower stall?
While it is more difficult to find an apartment in Tempe when you have so many small issues to worry about, many apartment complexes now feature at least one unit with accessible features. You also have the law on your side, so familiarize yourself with the Fair Housing Act so that you understand your responsibilities as well as the legal requirements for landlords.