The Housing Adaptations Design Toolkit comes from Northern Ireland and is focused on government departments collaborating for good social housing outcomes. The aim is to integrate services to promote independent living. The Department of Communities and the Department of Health collaborated in the development of the toolkit.
Housing adaptations are a key element in supporting independent living. The other three are assistive technology, social care, and health and wellbeing.
The diagram shows the links between the four elements required for independent living.
The toolkit covers housing adaptions that range from those not needing a referral to occupational therapy services to more complex projects. It has design formats that help service users to visualise the proposed adaptations. Electronic formats facilitate inter-agency communications for the recommended adaptations and specifications.
The toolkit has seven sections. They include design principles for different rooms, space standards for different users, and helpful specification templates. There are three categories of users: ambulant, independent wheelchair user, and dependent wheelchair user.
The development of the toolkit included collaboration with people with disability. It supports a standardised approach to design principles and space standards. The image shows the front cover of the toolkit.
The Housing Adaptations Design Toolkit is a guide for government funded adaptations. As such, the toolkit processes could help inform home modifications under Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme. This is a very comprehensive approach to bureaucratic processes and technical detail.