In August of 1955, at 3 ½ years old, Diane Miller was one of many who contracted polio during an epidemic that swept Milwaukee, WI. From this point on her life included leg braces and crutches, to enable her to walk. These assistive devices were a minor inconvenience, but not intolerable.
Unexpectedly in the mid-1980’s a lightweight manual wheelchair was introduced into Diane’s life. Post-Polio Syndrome was causing her to experience fatigue, an unsteady gait that at times resulted in falling coupled with new aches and pains. However, it was not long before Diane found the environment around her was impossible.
In an effort to address this problem, in the fall of 1989 the Leo and Sara Miller family founded Welcome, House Of Modification Examples, Inc a 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation. The sole purpose of this program was to create an avenue for sharing with others the importance of and information pertaining to wheelchair accessible home design.
Money was raised to purchase a 17+ acre parcel of land; complete with mature woodland, meadow and a rolling hillside. This was an ideal future building site. Over the next 3 years, wheelchair accessible trails were excavated in the woods, picnic areas were created and a cedar boardwalk was completed. Construction of the main house began in 1996. Hundreds of volunteers devoted thousands of hours over the next two years to build this distinctive single family home.
On May 1, 1998 the 36-inch wide (wheelchair friendly) doors to Welcome HOME; a one-of-a-kind 3,650 square foot ranch style wheelchair accessible demonstration home, opened to the public!
Tours of the entire home are now provided – by appointment - free of charge.
CBS 58 VIDEO
View the video tour of Welcome House with commentary by CBS 58.
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