Detroit Disability Power Moving to ‘Most Accessible Building in City’

Detroit Disability Power, a social change organization dedicated to advancing disability justice, is planning to move into its new headquarters in The Love Building — located in Detroit’s Core City neighborhood — later this month.
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Love Building rendering
The Love Building in Detroit was designed to be accessible to people with disabilities that are served by the organizations that will be occupying the structure. // Rendering courtesy of thelovebuilding.org

Detroit Disability Power, a social change organization dedicated to advancing disability justice, is planning to move into its new headquarters in The Love Building — located in Detroit’s Core City neighborhood — later this month.

The building, a former furniture warehouse located at 4731 Grand River Avenue (near West Forest Avenue), has been converted into offices designed to be “the most accessible building in Detroit,” specially built to be accessible to those with disabilities.

Organizers state the building has been designed well above the minimum standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and features state-of-the-art technology, flexible workspaces, and crucial but lesser-known accommodations like a low-fragrance policy, lactation rooms, and low-stimuli rooms.

The site also will be home to Allied Media Projects, the Detroit Justice Center, the Detroit Narrative Agency, Detroit Community Technology Project, and Paradise Natural Foods.

The idea for this community redevelopment project was born out of a common experience.  The organizations could not find an economically accessible, physically accessible, and community-rooted office space that met the needs of their own staff and the diverse communities they serve.

To meet the challenge, organizers worked to design a building that would meet these needs, making The Love Building an example of successful community-led redevelopment. Residents of the Core City neighborhood also were able to participate in the design process to ensure their ideas were reflected as the building would ultimately stand in their neighborhood.

The organizations that will be housed in the building also have entered a Community Benefits Agreement with the residents, committing to offer services and resources like peer-support groups for disabled and chronically ill residents, as well as free use of the building for block club meetings and other public activities.

Detroit Disability Power calls this “comprehensive accessibility.”

The Love Building sets a precedent for intentional inclusion of Detroit residents in city development, the organization says, allowing residents to be a part of the changes happening in their city. In a city with 129,000 disabled residents, and with buildings older than the ADA, The Love Building is an example of what can be done for Detroiters with disabilities who want to live and work in the city.

For more information about Detroit Disability Power, its new office, and upcoming events, please visit here.