Indiana University

Livability is topic at annual Governor's Conference

Nov. 30, 2011

What makes a community livable for a person with a disability? The same things that make it livable for everyone: diverse, affordable and accessible housing options; a range of mobility options; sociable, walkable communtities; access to basic services and retail; opportunities to be around people of all ages and abilities; and abundant opportunities to contribute one's talents and opinions. This was the subject of a two-part workshop on livability, held at the 2011 Indiana Governor's Conference for People with Disabilities. Part One featured Center on Aging and Community Director Phil Stafford, who teamed up with Deborah McCarty, Back Home in Indiana Alliance, to provide an overview of livability features that all communities should exhibit, though far too few do. Their slide presentation can be found here on this website.

Part Two featured the Center's own Jennie Todd, who partnered with Professor Sharon Baggett of the U. of Indianapolis Center for Aging and Community, to engage workshop participants in a hands-on design session to create a model neighborhood. Livability will figure to be an increasingly important topic among disability advocates, enabling new alliances for community planning and development. This will call for increased knowledge of advocacy tactics, as Indiana begins to provide new support to localities who wish to become transformed into "Communities for a Lifetime." Stay tuned for more on this topic in the next two weeks!