How Kids Build A Better Home- Literally!
The Center on Independent Living (COIL) and the Construction Careers Academy have teamed up to help each other build affordable homes for people with disabilities, homeless veterans, and anyone else that falls into the programs that we support. COIL was very impressed with the quality and above all the “out of box” thinking the kids in the program have approached home building.
The Construction Careers Academy is based at Warren High School and provides students with a fantastic head start into the construction trade careers such as carpentry, electrical, plumbing, design, architecture, engineering, project management, just to name a few. They are guided by professional craftsmen, engineers, architects, and folks like us here at COIL.
Ok, I hear you, what does the Center on Independent Living have to do with teaching students construction? Glad you asked! We lectured on ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliance, what accessibility really means, and we gave them Barry Muth the President of our Board of Directors who is wheelchair bound. Barry is very open and frank about people with disabilities and the kids loved him! He was able to answer questions that most folks would be afraid to ask a disabled person. He showed them why building a structure with ADA in mind is important, how it works, difficulties conventional construction pose people with disabilities, and that just because a person is restricted to a chair doesn’t mean they are helpless.
We recently attended the Construction Careers Academy Parade of Homes that comes at the end of the school year and displays and auctions off the homes these terrific kids have built. One of the homes featured was the ADA House built from a shipping container. They knocked it out of the park with this one and it was one of the highest money makers for CCA. Barry Muth commented, “They actually listened! WOW! They really did a fantastic job!” Yes they did.
We are currently working to raise money to support the program at CCA and COIL. We are working with San Antonio Housing Authority, Build San Antonio Green, and supporters to develop a community of ADA compliant affordable housing to service our clients and those in need. If you would like to help us to help others then please visit our donations page, call us, or just send a check. We will also accept any kind of donation such as property, vehicles, houses, planes and trains, although not quite sure how we would use a train, however, I do know some kids that are very creative!