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Welcome to ABLE environments, I am Tom Minty and the founder of this company. I have been the REALTOR with a Unique Focus on a Special Need for over 14 years now. I started with John L Scott Real Estate after serving 20+ years in the Technology Industry, Including 8 years at Microsoft. When I first started, I was approached by a close friend who was dealing with the challenges of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She wanted to know if I knew of homes that would eliminate the barriers to her daily life. I immediately tried to use existing real estate resources to identify “disabled access” homes and found that the results were disappointing to say the least. Having no standards in the residential marketplace as to precisely what “disabled access” meant, the interpretation was broadly used and, although without malice, what most Real Estate Brokers considered accessible was seldom anything but.  The more I researched the issue and interviewed people, the more I realized that there was a tremendous need being unfulfilled in the Real Estate industry. I also discovered that even though there were companies filling specific needs in this area, none of them pulled the beginning-to-end requirements together and most did a poor job of even suggesting what those different pieces might be. It was at this point that I developed a special interest in focusing on housing to include the needs of the exceptional, as the standard.

In 2004 I founded ABLE environments to address the need for real estate expertise in identifying housing appropriate for people of “all” abilities, and to be a single point of contact to help make this process as convenient and trouble-free as possible.

The lessons learned through this process have made me become a ‘student of demographics’ and have focused my attentions on understanding that there are different values and varied needs in each generation, from Seniors to the ‘Y-Generation’. Being a ‘Baby Boomer’ myself, I recognized the value of creating dynamic built environments that can adapt to fit the changes in all of our lives. Based on personal experience I understand the challenges for families in the unaccustomed position of now taking care of their parents (often while still raising their children) and have conducted workshops to share the lessons learned. I became certified as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist, to better understand and deal with, what is all too often, the trauma of seniors downsizing or selling their homes for the last time.

As a charter member of the Northwest Universal Design Council, I work to promote awareness with the public and with governmental agencies to the urgency of addressing the coming challenges in our built environment. I also work with local architects, designers, builders, remodelers, and various other service industries to change the way we design and build housing for the coming decade, and encourage for their use of Universal Design whenever and wherever they can. Towards this goal, I became certified as an EcoBroker to promote the fact that designing homes that can adapt to our changing lifestyles, is every bit as an essential component of sustainability as any other “green” practices.

My advocacy for these needs has led to my participation with the Advisory Council for Aging and Disabilities Services of Seattle and King County where I represent the United Way. I have recently served as the Vice-Chair of the Council and I persist in helping to direct public policy however possible.

I also share my passion through various speaking engagements to professional and governmental organizations, as well as in public seminars to promote this awareness. I have received my certification from the State of Washington as a Real Estate Instructor in hopes of developing and conducting continuing clock hour education to raise the level of understanding in other real estate professionals

If you are interested in finding out more about Universal Design or would like to learn more about planning around your home to accommodate our changing lives… Please contact us. We would love to meet and talk with you about your own specific needs or questions

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