People with disability have the right to live in similar ways to the majority of Australians
Family Advocacy believes that people with disability have the same right as other Australians to have appropriate and relevant housing options and choices available to them. This means that the living situations of people with disability should be similar to those on offer to the general community.
Read Family Advocacy’s position statement on inclusive housing.
The unfortunate reality is that moving out of home is often much more difficult for people with disability than for their peers without disability. Many young men and women with disability stay living at home with their families when they are of an age when it would be more appropriate for them to live in a home that suits their individual personality and needs.
Family Advocacy is of the view that people with disability, just like other people, should have a range of living options to choose from and that these should be consistent with those of the rest of society. These might be a house - whether it is a detached or semi detached house, a town house, units, a terrace, a granny flat etc.. They may live alone or with one or more people of their choosing.There are many possibilities.
There is significant research that suggests that people with developmental disability experience better quality of life – including improved skill development - when they experience smaller, more individualised, flexible living arrangements.
Supported living is an approach to housing and support for people with disability based on the fundamental belief that every person has a right to lead their own life, to determine where, how, with whom they live and who provides them with support.
Common elements of supported living include:
- Separation of housing and support
- Support is provided by a combination of informal (non-paid) and paid support with intentional strategies used to develop informal support
- Paid support is individualised, flexible and under the control of the person with disability
Where a service provider is involved, it stands beside the person with disability and their family to develop and implement the lifestyle the person wants.
Below are some articles that will help with your understanding of what supported living is and what it is not and what the research is telling us.
Why Group Homes Are No Longer Optimal Michael Kendrick (sourced from the Centre for Welfare Reform)
Learning to listen: the key to supported living Scott Shepard and Cheryl Mayfield
From a four-bed ‘placement’ to a New Life David Weatherow
Supported Living: From Control to Freedom Peter Kinsella
Crucial Times: Creating Home an exploration of the efforts and commitments to create individual lives March 2008, Issue 40
Families for Change: Supported Living Edition Autumn 2008
Vulnerability in Adult Home Sharing Situations for Persons with Disabilities Michael Kendrick
The Choice between a ‘real home’ and a program Michael Kendrick
Housing and support for people with "challenging behaviour" - some guidance Michael Kendrick
New Quasi-institutions as Examples of Human Service Unconsciousness Martin Elks - This article raises important considerations in regard to the dynamics of institutionalisation, the history of human services and the SRV theme of unconsciousness.