Fair Housing: Exploring Accessibility From a Child’s Perspective

Libby and the Cape of Visitability
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Guest Blogger:Jo Becker, Education/Outreach Specialist, Fair Housing Council
Serving Oregon and SW Washington

‘Remember Harry Potter and his invisibility cloak?  Well, here’s a fun bit of fair housing news for you!  National fair housing speaker and attorney with For Rent Media Solutions has written a children’s book (e-book) that explores disability1 and accessibility from a child’s perspective.  Another book for kids that’s sure to resonate with grownups as well!  Check it out – and support a great cause – today!

Libby, Aria and Benjamin have been best friends since they were babies. But now Aria has moved to a new house and Libby, who uses a wheelchair, doesn’t get invited to Aria’s birthday party because the house has barriers. Hurt feelings follow…

Then the kids meet Everett, an adult wheelchair athlete, who tells them how the disability rights movement gained successes through years of public demonstrations and pressing for laws. Everett shows them a picture from the 70’s showing people with disabilities blocking inaccessible buses.

The kids are inspired to their version of public action to achieve the goal that every new house would have a step-free entrance and wide bathroom doors. Learn how the kids get on the front page of their hometown paper, as their method gets them in trouble – and how they achieve a sweet victory.

“Libby and the Cape of Visitability” is the diary of Libby, a KWD (Kid with Disability). Written for children ages 8-13, this book raises awareness of the exclusion created when houses are not built with simple features that allow wheelchair users to visit or live in them.

For those grownups (teachers, parents and others) that engage in meaningful dialogue with children, this book provides not only a captivating story and relatable characters, but a Reader’s Guide with discussion questions and resources as well. Eleanor Smith is a well-known civil rights worker and Nadeen Green is a teacher, writer and blogger on the topic of fair housing.

This e-book was made possible with the support of For Rent Media Solutions. Proceeds from For Rent’s share of royalties are being donated to the Michigan Habitat for Humanity (which builds visitable houses)!

“Libby and the Cape of Visitability” is available for Kindle, Nook, Sony eReader, iPad, etc. at

http://bookstore.authorhouse.com or directly at Amazon.com for Kindles and directly at BarnesandNoble.com for Nooks, as well as from other online resources.  For those without e-readers the book can also be loaded onto a computer as a PDF.

This article brought to you by the Fair Housing Council; a nonprofit serving the state of Oregon and SW Washington.  All rights reserved © 2013. Write jbecker@FHCO.org to reprint articles or inquire about ongoing content for your own publication.

To learn more…

Learn more about fair housing and / or sign up for our free, periodic newsletter at www.FHCO.org.

Qs about this article?  ‘Interested in articles for your company or trade association?

Contact Jo Becker at jbecker@FHCO.org or 800/424-3247 Ext. 150

Want to schedule an in-office fair housing training program or speaker for corporate or association functions?

Visit www.FHCO.org/pdfs/classlist.pdf

[1] Federally protected classes under the Fair Housing Act include:  race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (children), and disability.  Oregon law also protects marital status, source of income, sexual orientation, and domestic violence survivors.  Washington law covers martial status, sexual orientation, and domestic violence survivors, and honorably discharged veterans / military status. Additional protected classes have been added in particular geographic areas; visit FHCO.org/mission.htm and read the section entitled “View Local Protected Classes” for more information.