Housing needs and preferences of adults with intellectual disabilities

Willow Tree Community, a local not-for-profit agency, has received a grant from Fredericton Community Living Foundation to undertake a research project to ascertain:

a) the numbers of adults with developmental disabilities living in the greater Fredericton area;

b) the housing needs and preferences of adults with developmental disabilities in the area.

The study comprises two parts: a survey, and a qualitative study.  The study focuses on the housing needs and preferences of adults with intellectual disabilities.  Participants will thus be those adults with intellectual disabilities who have capacity to give informed consent, and where such informed consent is not possible, the primary carers of adults with intellectual disabilities.  In cases where carers are completing the survey and/or interview they will be encouraged to respond to the questions in conjunction with the adult with an intellectual disability, so to include him/her as much as possible, and generate responses reflective of his/her thoughts and wishes.  We accept that the preferences of adults with intellectual disabilities and their carers may not always align, and so in reporting the findings of the study we will make clear the distinction between respondents.

The first part is a survey (URL: ) to ascertain basic information concerning the housing needs and preferences of adults with intellectual disabilities.  This will be available online and in hard copy.  The survey will be publicized via the email lists of local agencies (e.g. OPAL, Fredericton Community Living, Social Development, NB Association of Nursing Homes, Special Care Homes Association etc), social media, local media (radio and press) and by word of mouth via the networks of Willow Tree Community.  Agencies will also be asked to pass on hard copies of surveys to their service users or service users’ family members.  All details will be in an information pack consisting of a cover letter, information sheet, the survey, and a pre-paid return envelope.  The survey will take participants approx. 30 minutes to complete.  The online survey will be conducted via Survey Monkey.  Basic analysis (frequency of responses, some cross-tabulation etc) will provide a general picture.

Alongside the survey, we will conduct a qualitative study, interviewing 20-30 adults with intellectual disabilities or their carers (depending on capacity to give informed consent).  Purposive sampling will be used in order to include the widest range of participants (age, gender, living situation etc).  Participants will be recruited initially via Willow Tree Community, and word of mouth, and then from those indicating on the survey that they would be willing to participate in the interview study. As the study progresses we may then attempt to recruit from other sources (e.g. approaching Special Care Homes or Nursing Homes directly) so as to extend the range of participants.  In these cases we would provide the agency with an information pack to pass on to the relevant person(s).  The interviews are expected to take 1 – 1 ½ and will be conducted at a place of the participants’ choosing.  The interviews will be audio-recorded, transcribed and analyzed for themes, concerns, and issues facing adults with developmental disabilities with regard to housing and related matters.  Participants will be offered the opportunity to review the transcript prior to giving permission for its use in the study.

The findings will be reported by the end of September.

If you are interested in the study, and wish to take part, please complete the survey, which can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Willowtree

The information sheet for the interview part of the study can be found here:  Willowtree PIS v2