Rebecca Jamwal

Evaluating Support, Technology and Built Design in Housing for People with Disability and Complex Care Needs

Presenter: Rebecca Jamwal, Research Fellow, Summer Foundation

Flash Talk Session

In recent times, Australians with complex care needs have seen their housing options increase via the development of housing demonstration projects (HDPs). HDPs are based on the premise that well located, appropriately designed housing – combined with quality support – can increase independence, wellbeing and community integration, while reducing lifetime care costs. The considerable amount of planning behind the built, technology and support design within HDPs has been clearly documented, and represents significant capital investment for funders. It is therefore important to understand how these environments are being used by those who reside within them. This research aims to explore how design and technology features, built into HDPs, are used by tenants, and how each of these environmental factors influence tenant participation at home.

Participants are people with disability and complex needs, aged 18-65, who have recently moved into an HDP. Semi-structured interviews will be undertaken 3-6 months post move to gain the perspective of participants on their use of, and interaction with, the built, technology and support environments. At one month following, a time sampling methodology will be employed to collect data via observation, to document the interaction between each of these environmental factors. A final interview will be undertaken to discuss the research team’s observation of the participant’s interaction with the built, technology and support environments.

This presentation will explore the development and use of the time sampling observation tool designed for use in this study, and present case study and initial findings from our preliminary data collection. Research findings aim to guide future housing design for people with disability and complex needs and ultimately reduce the risk for this group of admission to inappropriate settings, such as residential aged care.