INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new housing village is opening up with improved accessibility for adults living with disabilities.
Damar Village is in Phase 2 of construction.
It may be hard to understand just how difficult it is for someone with disabilities to navigate a world not necessarily built for them. But Damar Village representatives said the new complex will completely flip the script. Everything here was built to accommodate a variety of physical and mental needs.
Independence is something Mary Pat and Rick Torbeck still want for their adult children, Brian and Clark. Both have autism and don’t speak.
“It’s been decades that we’ve been asking each other what will we do when we can no longer care for them,” said Mary Pat.
As the couple gets older, they know they will lose their ability to properly care for their adult children.
“When you have kids with severe disabilities you worry about what’s going to happen when you’re gone, and who’s gonna watch them, and is it going to be safe,” said Rick.
But soon enough, their children will have more independence when they move into the Damar Village.
Jim Dalton is president and CEO of Damar Services, one of the largest providers for people with developmental disabilities and autism in the Midwest.
“We saw in the community adults with developmental disabilities not being able to have adequate housing. And when they did have that housing it cost them so much that they didn’t have money left over for quality of life,” he said.
On land adjacent to the main campus is Damar Village.
“This is a small solution to a very big problem.”
Everyone is welcome. But the design is created with people who have disabilities in mind. So there are wider floor plans, shorter cabinets, accessible restrooms and even safeguards on the stove.
“It’s incredible to have that kind of open-mindedness, and willingness to go the extra distance on things like this,” said Mary Pat.
For those who need sensory stimulation, there will be areas outside to meet those needs, too. Often people who are disabled spend roughly 90% of their income on housing. Philanthropy allows this village to offer low-cost housing.