A priority area of Australia’s National Disability Strategy is building inclusive and accessible communities, with a focus on housing responses. Every individual is part of this undertaking.
"I like my community and I can be involved in it"
– Sally, living in her own unit in an intentional community
Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) offers people with disability the opportunity to harness equipment and supports to build inclusive lives, including Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) for those with the highest support needs.
"I am more independent - I can open my front door, turn on and off the lights and call staff using the smart technology"
– James, living in his own unit
My Home Space is an outcome of a research project: “Housing, technology and support innovation within a National Disability Strategy: Post- occupancy evaluation research to impact Australian policy and best practice.”
This two-year project aimed to:
- Identify new and changing Australian models of housing for people with disability eligible for the NDIS;
- Examine and document built, technology, support and community enablers, and barriers, in housing design;
- Understand tenant and family experiences relating to housing, technology and support design.
The mixed methods design for the project included national fieldwork with people with disability, their families, and key stakeholders involved in housing delivery; government consultations;and thematic analysis of fieldwork and consultation data, triangulated with the NDIS SDA policy documentation available during the project period.
Five housing sites were examined with tenants, families and key project stakeholders. The projects represented the four SDA building type and design categories. A national housing roundtable held with National Disability Insurance Agency and state government representatives further informed the project. Project findings were reviewed in the context of NDIS policy documents for the production of a range of digital and written resources as research outputs, including the My Home Space tool.
"For me, when thinking about housing, I really need to think about how best to design key spaces to ensure my independence is maximised"
– Kirrily, planning to move from living in a nursing home
This research provides directions for design and delivery of housing, technology and support for people with disability and resulting high needs. Project outputs offer utility for a range of audiences, including people with disability, families, government, and design and health professionals.