Moving Tips for People With Disabilities
Making moving Easier if you have a Disability
Hunting for a new home is often easier said than done, but especially for people with disabilities. From packing your items to make sure they arrive safely to ensuring your new home can accommodate your special needs, moving can enhance anxieties. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for the process.
Before you even begin researching homes, you should learn about your legal rights—your disability may qualify for protection under federal law through the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Once you know your rights, it’s important to know what kinds of accommodations and modifications your new home will need. If a place doesn’t meet your accessibility needs, there’s no point in wasting your time adding the home to your list.
Need some help with your moving day? Finding the answers to the following questions will make the most of your time as you find and move into a new home.
What questions should I ask when touring properties?
Your questions will depend on your specific disability, but if you want to reduce the amount of time spent searching, look to newer buildings and complexes. The more recent a building was constructed, the more likely it adheres to building codes that include accessibility for disabilities. For example, people who use wheelchairs should be sure to ask about the width of doorways and the availability of ramps. Be sure to ask if door handles, locks, and appliances are all accessible to someone in a wheelchair.
What are some helpful ways to organize packing?
When it comes to packing, it’s important to think about what you’ll need to do when unpacking. Labeling boxes by room can help with you unpack more efficiently. For people with poor vision, using brightly colored labels or textured lettering can help you recognize boxes and unpack them in the right rooms. If you can afford it, hiring professional packers and movers who specialize in moving clients with disabilities can help the moving process proceed more efficiently and with less stress.
Who do I notify of my change of address?
There is a lot of prep work that needs to happen before you walk out of your old front door and into your new one. You’ll need to make sure utilities are turned off at your old place and turned on in time for moving day at your new place. You’ll also want to transfer your internet, cable, and subscription deliveries. Don’t forget about your mail. You can miss important information if you do not submit your change of address form. Be sure you also communicate your new address with your credit cards, bank, health insurance, car insurance, and cell phone provider.
How can I get help on moving day?
Everyone needs help moving into a new place; people with disabilities are no different. However, the kind of help you need depends on the amount of items you’re moving, where you are moving to, and how much help you need. It’s also likely that some moving companies will also offer special prices for helping people with disabilities. Take the time to call around and compare prices, and don’t forget to ask friends for their recommendations. After the movers unload your belongings, be sure to check out each and every room to make sure that your large items are where you want them.
Moving day is filled with stressors, but there are even more considerations—hurdles, even—for people with disabilities to overcome. The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to do this alone. Ask a family member, a friend, or even a realtor to join and help make the moving process easier.
About the Author: Patrick created AbleUSA to offer resources to people with disabilities and offer advice about navigating various aspect of life.