Pioneering Supported Housing Scheme for People with Autism
Thanks to a pioneering scheme, people with autism in Waltham Forest will be able to live in a supported living environment and enjoy a more active role in the community.
[UKPRwire, Wed May 02 2007] Thanks to a pioneering scheme, people with autism in Waltham Forest will be able to live in a supported living environment and enjoy a more active role in the community.
This scheme has been specially designed for people with autism. It has been developed in partnership by Waltham Forest Housing Association, Waltham Forest Council, support provider Adepta, Frankham Consultancy and telecare specialist Tunstall. It was funded through a grant from the Housing Corporation.
The partners have involved those who will be living here from the start. This scheme is exceptional in the way that the internal design features have been guided by each individual’s needs and tastes, as well as safety features in addition to focusing on tailored support to meet individual specific needs.
The partners have all been closely involved in the planning and development of the scheme as a positive alternative to residential care. Telecare technology will aid Adepta’s specialist team providing on site support.
Iain Duncan Smith, the local MP said: “This is a marvellous concept and everyone involved is to be congratulated for bringing it through to completion. Autism is one of the undiscussed problems that face our community and this project will go a long way to help those affected by autism maintain their independence.”
Notes to editors
User groups made up of professional social care staff, carers, service users and advocates were used to ensure everyone was involved in the design.
The overall aims were to maximise space and provide a balance between meeting individuals needs and promoting communal living in the building.
The supported housing scheme’s tailored design includes an advanced sound-proofing system and anti-slam doors and telecare technology, which has been designed specifically for the individual needs of each tenant.
A major part of the design features were based on each individual’s sensory needs. This means the size and finish of floor and wall tiles, the textures of floor coverings and colour schemes have all been carefully selected to give each resident as calming an environment as possible, in which to live.
Other safety design features include regulated water temperatures in taps to prevent scalding, easy accessible safety valves and bespoke kitchen layouts to help tenants cook for themselves more easily.
Durable fixtures and fittings have been used and designed using sustainable materials to maximise the life cycle of each product.
Linda Milton, Chief Executive of Waltham Forest Housing Association:
‘We have taken a holistic approach to ensure that people’s individual needs are met, as well as providing support within the community. Having your own home is key to being able to choose, as everyone else does, just how you live your life. This will be the first time that many of these people will have had the opportunity to make the decisions that most of us take for granted, and it’s good to see people moving on and starting to take more control of their own futures. As a small Registered Social Landlord we are very proud to have been involved in this partnership’.
Cedric Frederick, Chief Executive Adepta: .
‘This scheme is an excellent example of what can be achieved with true partnership working. We are committed to providing support that enables people to choose how they want to live, and these sorts of developments are essential to the delivery of truly person-centred support. As people are able to live more independently it reduces the support they need and this has to be the way forward for ‘care in the community’. We are working to introduce this support model into more and more services.’
Head of Learning Disability Partnership, Sheenagh Burgess:
“We are passionately committed to helping people with disabilities enjoy an 'ordinary life', in their own homes and I am delighted that we have created new homes for people who've never had their own home before. People with autistic spectrum disabilities and their families are fed up with being left out and institutionalised because authorities can't grasp the nettle, and make the systems work. I am very proud indeed that we have shown that a 'can do' attitude can work!”
Waltham Forest’s Cabinet Member for Health Adult & Older People, Cllr Liz Phillips:
“Our aim is to encourage residents with specific needs to live as independently as possible in high quality accommodation where they can access appropriate support services. This Scheme fits the bill perfectly and I am delighted that Waltham Forest Council and its partners have been able to deliver this fantastic scheme for clients, and their families and carers.”