Disability housing project wins V-C’s award

A disability housing project involving the University’s Department of Occupational Therapy has been recognised with a Vice-Chancellor’s Diversity and Inclusion Award. A disability housing project involving the University’s Department of Occupational Therapy, Mission Australia (MA) Housing, Yooralla and the Summer Foundation Ltd has been recognised with a Vice-Chancellor’s Diversity and Inclusion Award.

The housing project, proposed in 2011 by the Department of Occupational Therapy’s Associate Professor Louise Farnworth and Ms Libby Callaway, was officially launched on Friday 16 October. In addition to providing fully supported and age-appropriate housing to six adults with profound disability, the project will give valuable clinical training to Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences students. Ms Callaway said the project will give researchers and clinical educators a practical means of evaluating care models.

“A key component of the project will be to evaluate this clinical training model from the perspective of tenants, disability support workers and the students themselves, building an evidence base of best practice support for young people with disability moving from aged care back to community living,” Ms Callaway said.

The innovative Frankston-based project, located on land provided by the University, will offer new insights into support models for young people with disabilities, who may otherwise be placed in aged care.

“The partnership model also ensures the principles of Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme are enacted, with the separation of the provision of housing from disability support provision, and a strong focus on capacity building of tenants to influence social and economic participation.”

The project was made possible with a $1.939m grant from the Australian Government’s Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund.