Research and Projects

1. HACC Home Modifications and Assistive Technology (HM & AT) Project

In July 2013, the Independent Living Centre WA (ILC) commenced a new project funded by Home and Community Care (HACC) in Home Modifications and Assistive Technology. The project aims to further develop a sustainable service model that will enable HACC Program clients to access and receive home modifications and assistive technology (often referred to as aids and equipment) that support independence and well-being through the WA Assessment Framework.

The project stems from the Commonwealth reform agenda Living Longer Living Better report which identified home modifications as an area of development and reform that will support and facilitate independent living at home for older people.

In Western Australia, HACC provide funds to support home modifications through the Community Aids and Equipment Program (CAEP) and TADWA. With recognition that home modifications and assistive technology can support clients to maintain their independence and wellbeing, HACC is committed through this two year project, to explore what will support growth in this area.

WA HACC Home Modification and Assistive Technology Project Update October 2017 (PDF, 441 KB) HACC HM & AT Project Update March 2016 (PDF, 206 KB) HACC HM & AT Project Update October 2015 (PDF, 78 KB) WA HACC HM and AT Project Update January 2015 (PDF, 533 KB) HM & AT Project Update November 2013 (PDF, 272 KB)

Scoping Review on Best Practice for Home Modifications Service Delivery

To support the development of a sustainable service delivery model that guides the provision of home modifications and equipment for WA Home and Community Care (HACC) clients a Scoping Review was conducted by the ILC in partnership with the Curtin University School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work to explore the key factors that influence best practice in home modification service delivery. Read the Full Report of Findings and the At a Glance document below.

Full Report - Scoping Review on Best Practice for Home Modifications Service Delivery (PDF, 2 MB) At a Glance - Scoping Review on Best Practice for Home Modifications Service Delivery (PDF, 540 KB)

2. Intensive AAC in Schools (2013-2014) and Intensive AAC Support in Education Support Centres (2015-2016)

These projects have been funded by the Non-Government Centre Support for Non-School Organisations and implemented by the Independent Living Centre WA. The aim of these projects has been to provide support within mainstream (2013-2014) and Education Support Centre (2015-2016) classrooms for children with complex communication needs using speech generating devices to access the curriculum. It can be challenging to make the curriculum accessible for students who are non verbal or have complex communication needs, for example a student may be unable to read aloud to demonstrate their literacy skills, or may not have access to appropriate vocabulary to allow them to answer a question in a particular area of the curriculum.

It had been recognised that the evaluation of different support and service delivery models was crucial in current times of funding changes and reforms within the education and disability sectors. These projects have trialled a service delivery model of short term, intensive ‘within classroom’ support with the Speech Pathologist becoming part of the teaching team to achieve communication, academic and social outcomes for students with complex communication needs.

For resources developed as part of the projects see the ‘Communication in the Classroom Resources’ and ‘Top Tips for Implementing AAC’ here

For more information call 9381 0600 and ask for Tanith Brien

3. Pathways to Non-Complex Assistive Technology for HACC Clients in WA: October 2012 – December 2013.

During 2013, the Independent Living Centre WA (ILC) with Deakin University Melbourne researched pathways to low cost aids and equipment provision for Home and Community Care (HACC) clients in Western Australia.

The research was funded by HACC Western Australia to evaluate how low cost aids and equipment can most effectively be assessed, provided, accessed and funded. The HACC WA Program, through its adoption of the Wellness philosophy emphasises the role of AT and home modifications in enabling HACC clients to remain independent at home.

Multi stakeholder analysis was used in the research to investigate AT provision from the perspective of HACC clients, HACC assessors, AT suppliers and participants from a range of other key services. The results identified a complex array of barriers across the health and community care sector and describe a best practice approach to AT provision. Recommendations are made to build capacity across the AT sector to support the implementation of a systematic approach to non complex AT provision.

The research extends the evidence base available regarding the key facilitators of AT, environmental adaption and related strategies; and the recommendations made provide the sector and policy makers with indicators for change.

Research Insights - At a Glance - Pathways to Non Complex Assistive Technology for HACC Clients (PDF, 349 KB) Full Report Pathways to Non Complex Assistive Technology for HACC Clients (PDF, 6 MB)

4. Providing Assistive Technology within Individualised Service Delivery Frameworks.

An issues paper for the Emerging Technologies Group authored by Natasha Layton June 2013

Providing Assistive Technology within Individualised Service Delivery Frameworks (PDF, 579 KB)

Following the Emerging Technologies roundtable discussion, hosted by the Disability Services Commission (DSC) in November 2012, the Independent Living Centre WA (ILC) and DSC have established and led an Emerging Technology Partnership Group, chaired by ILC Executive Director Gerri Clay. DSC and ILC with support from industry partners aim to develop a coordinated direction on how assistive technology (AT) uptake and usage can be further improved primarily in the disability sector with consideration for the aged sector in Western Australia. Work is being undertaken to explore and promote initiatives where new technology is already implemented and generate a broader interest in assistive technology across the sector.

5. Assessment of assistive technology outcomes for HACC consumers of the Independent Living Centre WA: June 2012 – 2013.

There has been a lot of anecdotal evidence that the ILC is helpful and valued.  However there has been no formal evaluation of the outcomes for individuals who use the service, or the impact of assistive technology on their lives.  This project focuses on post service outcomes. ILC will have a body of evidence that can be used to further develop the methods of information delivery and to support the service to expand to meet the needs of HACC clients. This project is being undertaken in partnership with Curtin University and is funded by HACC.

For more information call 9381 0600 and ask for Alex Andrews

Please review the final report below.

Evaluation of Assistive Technology Outcomes for Home and Community Care (HACC) Clients of the Independent Living Centre (ILC) Assistive Technology Service (PDF, 407 KB)

6. Video calls with ILC: December 2012

ILC undertook a trial with staff from Bentley Hospital Occupational Therapy Department using tablet devices and the internet to use video calling as a method of service delivery. The purpose of the trial was to determine the potential of this technology for the following:

  • To expand our consumer base to include people who may not have used our service without this capacity
  • To add value to the experience of a consumer who subsequently uses our service by making an appointment after connecting with our service in this way
  • To potentially reduce the costs associated with accessing our services for the health services that use ILC
  • To provide ILC services to therapists at the time and location of their service delivery to their clients

For more information call 9381 0600 and ask for Sacha Marchant

7.CAEP AAC Consultancy and Refurbishment: June 2011 – Present.

This  project is funded by Disability Services Commission and is being implemented by the ILC.  Since July 2011 the project has engaged a range of clients and their primary Speech Pathologists from a variety of organisations who have access to the Community Aids and Equipment Program (CAEP) to fund communication devices. Since July 2013 this trial and keep process has become part of the ILC Tech and ILC Hire Services. The main principle of this trial and keep process is to reduce the amount of time that a client has to wait for their device to be funded and ordered after a successful trial.  ILC Tech is able to provide additional support to families and therapists in the planning and implementation of their communication device trial. ILC Hire is able to increase availability  of communication devices for clients to trial.

The CAEP AAC Refurbishment project is a collaboration between The Community Refurbished Equipment (CRE-Rocky Bay) Centre and the Independent Living Centre WA Tech Team to ensure the refurbishment and re-issuing of CAEP AAC devices. These devices are available for trial and purchase.

For more information call 9381 0600 and ask for Amy Litton

8. stARTSPEAK: 2012 – 2015.

stARTSPEAK was an innovative three year project run by DADAA designed to close the digital divide for people with learning difficulties. Using an informed design process – tools, software and training were developed and delivered to facilitate individual and collective artistic expression that speaks to a broad audience. ILC’s role in this project was the development and delivery of touchpad training for project participants. This project was funded by Department for Communities, Department for Training and Workforce Development and Community Art Network.

For more information call 9381 0600 and ask for Jessica Rigden