The Good Life: visualizing the complexity of supported living for people with disability
Georgina Hibberd, Jacqueline Lorber Kasunic, Kate Sweetapple
2023-10-22T22:00:00ZGMT-0600Change your timezone on the schedule page
This paper outlines the development of an interactive visualization tool, ‘A Good Life,’ which emerged out of a collaborative project between design researchers and practitioners from the University of Technology Sydney and Northcott, an Australian disability services organisation. Northcott provides supported accommodation services for people living in group homes (up to 6 people) with moderate to severe intellectual and physical disabilities requiring 24-hour support. Supported accommodation provides housing for marginalised and vulnerable people, often with limited resources. Working in this environment can be challenging but also rewarding. However, residents face even greater challenges because decisions made by others primarily determine their quality of life. These decision-makers can include family members or long-term support workers who have a deep understanding of the resident, allied health professionals who interact with the resident regularly but have a limited perspective, and government officials who lack a personal relationship with the resident but formulate policies that consequently have a profound effect on them. A significant issue for people with disability is the lack of visibility or understanding regarding how decisions affect their quality of life. To address this issue, the tool visualizes how decisions can restrict or enhance opportunities for people with disabilities. Additionally, it seeks to improve levels of communication by better expressing the will and preferences of the residents.