My Home, My Community is a capacity-building research project to support more inclusive services and programs within local government for people with intellectual disability. An inclusive practice research initiative, the project will build capacity within local councils to ensure the needs of people with intellectual disability are reflected and addressed in community activities.
Our collaborative research is focused on understanding the experiences of people with intellectual disability as active, independent and autonomous participants in the community. Rather than developing a disability program, the research team will instead design a series of resources for local government that remove barriers to participation and better include people with intellectual disability in existing services and programs. These could include a training program for local government staff, a guide to an inclusive communication strategy or an approach to local way-finding support that is inclusive of people with intellectual disability.
The work will be informed by feedback from focus groups, both with individuals with intellectual disability and local government staff whose roles have the capacity to impact service and resource provision. Focus groups will be led by a researcher with lived experience of intellectual disability and resources will be co-designed by stakeholders in both cohorts to ensure a truly collaborative solution.
This participatory design approach is central to the success of the project. As part of this work, the research team will also develop and document an inclusive research practice to support other organisations seeking diversity and inclusivity in their teams.
Phillippa Carnemolla, Jack Kelly, Catherine Donnelly, Aine Healy
NSW Council for Intellectual Disability, Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability
Information Learning and Capacity-building Grant, National Disability Insurance Agency