Story by Jennifer Longdon
Photos curtesy of AirBnB host
Hidden on an easy-to-miss private street in Phoenix’s Loma Linda neighborhood near Sky Harbor International Airport are two side-by- side units conveniently close to the bus lines at 24th St. and Thomas.
The tranquil quietness of the neighborhood is striking, even more so inside these spacious units thanks to thoughtful, energy efficient construction. They feature concrete floors, well-decorated open layouts, multiple bedrooms, luxurious Tuft & Needle mattresses, two baths and a screened courtyard. In keeping with LivAbility’s “know before you go” philosophy, these units are doable by wheelchair users with some forethought.
These units are stylish and “accessible-ish.” If my AC went out in July, I would consider them as options. There are some access challenges— all negotiable if you know what to expect. I’ve faced more barriers in “ADA certified” hotel rooms.
Built for environmental efficiency with air and water filtration systems, they’re friendly options for people with allergies. Both units have a short four-to-six-inch step inside. If I were traveling alone, this would be a deal breaker but doable as a companion- assisted wheelie or with a small suitcase ramp. None of the bathrooms have a built-in shower bench; you’ll need to bring your own. There are no grab bars near the toilets and no shower wands in any of the bathrooms but there is plenty of room for a shower chair to roll over each toilet. Each closet had storage options at wheelchair height. While all the environmental controls are reachable and the doorways wide enough for my wheelchair to pass, many of the cabinets were out of reach. The sinks and appliances are standard; wheelers will need to approach them from the side.
Each has differing accessible pluses and minuses. I could see myself enjoying both units with a trusted companion, but maybe not on our first overnight trip.
Jennifer Longdon is a Phoenix-based writer, speaker and advocate.