Enabling Technologies and Environments
The second program, Enabling Technologies and Environments, focuses on the places in which people live, the urban systems, designs and technologies that can facilitate better outcomes – and the ways in which people can remain at the centre of that experience. This program builds on extensive research from our Dignity and HabITec Flagships, as well as the Positive Environments Stream and Brain and Environment Enrichment Lab (BEEHive), which is now an NHMRC funded activity.
This program of work focuses on embedding co-design processes to deliver fit-for-purpose solutions that increase people’s rehabilitation and ability to participate with dignity in the community. Design and technologies are impacting on how people live and utilise supports. Evidence about what works, and for whom, is critical to address a legacy gap and inequity in access that exists for people living with severe disability. The HabITec initiative is addressing needs related to increasing awareness, generating new knowledge and creating supportive systems for technology uptake in rehabilitation. Research has focused on developing participatory processes with end-users to ensure individuals receive accessible technology in line with their rehabilitation goals. This program is comprised of three main themes, HabITec, LifeSpace Mobility and Healthy Neighbourhoods, with related projects focused of Scoping technology Use and Uptake, Citizen-Led Models for technology Support, Valuing Technology for Individualised Solutions, and Developing and Trialling Measures of LifeSpace for Application in the Community. It will continue to benefit from good relationships with infrastructure and technology providers, professionals and people with lived experience to create practical information, processes and tools to make environments and technologies more inclusive.
Key objectives of Research Program 2 are to:
1. Identify ways to support the safe, effective use of technology in rehabilitation to improve its efficiency and effectiveness;
2. Develop and apply collaborative and inclusive approaches to technology design that build long-term user capability and useability;
3. Improve the design and modification of public spaces, neighbourhoods, and homes to enhance quality of life and independence;
4. Improve people's capacity to access and negotiate their environments through improved urban design, mobility and public transport to enhance participation.