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"Invisi-Accessibility" For Homes Of Families With Special Needs

5:36 PM, Jul 26, 2013   |    comments
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Springfield, Va. (WUSA9) -- For years, Grace Cassidy wanted her son Chris Cassidy to be able to come and go from their Fairfax County home at will.  Chris has duchenne muscular dystrophy, a condition in which muscles deteriorate at a rapid pace.

Cassidy says, "He was really having problems walking and getting into and out of the house."

Chris needed to be carried up and down the steps.  The alternative was to set up a portable ramp.  The Cassidy family needed a change, but they wanted one that would fit with the current exterior of the house.

"But then you also want your home to be... your home.  You don't want it to scream 'we have a disabled person in our home'," adds Cassidy.

They met Russ Glickman, Founder of Glickman Design Build.  He is a contractor who is personally familiar with the Cassidys' needs.  Russ' son, Michael, has cerebral palsy.  He modified his own home to give his son greater freedoms.

Glickman says, "I learned how to modify for Michael's needs which taught me how to modify other homes for other people's special needs."

Russ and his team took out the existing sidewalk, rebuilt the steps, and expanded the front deck to add a special ramp.

"We could add a built-in ramp in a way that allowed Chris to go up and down and then we put a sidewalk that connected it," adds Glickman.

Now Chris is able to come and go at his own ease.  The sidewalk leads into the driveway where he meets the bus.  When you look at the home from the front, it is hard to notice the ramp.

Glickman says, "We wanted to build it in a way that you don't see that there was a ramp there."

"I have a deck that my son can come out and sit on.  He can come out on the ramp and get his metro access and go to school and the theater, and we could not be more pleased," adds Cassidy.