Self-determined flatmate selection for individuals with an intellectual disability

Micaela Goldsmith1, Rickardt van Dyk1

1Idea Services, Auckland, New Zealand

Background:
Decisions on where a person with an intellectual disability lives are often constrained by a funding model that has intentional compromises, including a requirement that people live in group homes with no allowance for vacancies. Other constraining factors include contractual constraints, resource availability and time pressures. There is often limited consultation between the family/whānau, the individual and the provider; in many cases the decision of where the person will live has already been made before they are consulted.

These factors ultimately mean that where a person lives is not based on the desires and needs of that person. As a result, the individual may not be living in homes with flatmates of their choosing. There are approximately 6500 people with an intellectual disability living with providers in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Therefore, the lack of involvement in deciding where they live and who they live with affects a large number of New Zealanders.

Method and Results:
IDEA Services is in the process of piloting a tool that makes a step towards self-determined choices in living situation. The aim of the tool is to support individuals to make informed, self-determined choices about where they live and who they live with. Feedback, outcomes and learnings from this initial pilot will be presented.

Implications:
Being able to make self-determined choices is linked to better quality of life. Therefore, supporting individuals with an intellectual disability to make informed choices about their living situations can have wide implications on their happiness and wellbeing.


Biography:

Bio to come