Dr Grace Bitner

Dr Grace Bitner

Research Fellow, The Hopkins Centre, Menzies Health Institute Qld

Positive Environments and Communities Stream

 

Grace has over a decade of experience researching in the area of design for disability, health, and aging. She is passionate about translating research into the creation of communities that are healthier, more sustainable, and socially inclusive for people of all ages and abilities.

Her work in the area of design for disability has given her both a depth and breadth of knowledge of the policies, practices, and systems central to the sector. It has also given her a comprehensive understanding of the complex problems faced by diverse stakeholder groups including individuals with disability and their support networks, service providers, design and development professionals, investors, and government agencies.

Her academic experience is complemented by over a decade spent working in private architectural practice and for government. In particular, her roles as associate director for a large national architectural firm, and senior designer for a firm dedicated solely to designing within the disability and aged care sectors have given her a keen awareness of the importance of bringing together theory and practice to ensure that research has positive real world impacts.

Examples of current research work that Grace is undertaking within the Positive Environments and Communities stream of The Hopkins Centre include:

The Disability Accommodation Landscape in Queensland, which is working to producing a detailed portrait of the current disability accommodation marketplace in Queensland. The initial mapping stage of this project has been designed to capture the current diversity, availability and distribution (geographical) of SDA in the market as well as identify thin market areas. This is accompanied by a qualitative data stream (interviews / surveys) which consults with both providers and consumers to provide valuable context and facilitate comparison and contrast between the different sector perspectives.

The Valuing Home Modifications, project is looking in-depth at how the pivotal concepts of value and value for money are defined and used within the home modification process. This project is collecting and analysing the experiences and views of a range of key sector stakeholders, including professionals undertaking Home Modifications and end users with the aim of developing better understandings and ultimately improve outcomes for all parties in the home modification process.

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