Professor Niki Ellis, CEO of ISCRR today announced, as part of ISCRR's flagship SmILE initiative, the release of a worldwide study into best practice accommodation design for people living with an acquired brain injury or spinal cord injury

"This study is the first step in a research project aiming to provide new strategies to enhance the performance and quality of dwellings of people with acquired brain or spinal cord injury," said Professor Ellis. 

The study was conducted by Monash University's Professor Shane Murray with the support of ISCRR.  Professor Murray, an award-winning architect and academic specializes in research into contemporary housing and urban design issues.

Professor Murray's work is part of ISCRR's Smart Independent Living Environments (SmILE) initiative, a five year research program designed to improve the independence of people with a disability through innovations in accommodation; assistive technology and support services (attendant carers). 

Two scoping studies have also been completed as part of SmILE. The studies led by Ms Libby Callaway and Professor Amrik Sohal of Monash University confirm long held views about the lack of supported accommodation and support services for people with a traumatic brain injury. Further details about these studies can be found below.

The next stage of the studies includes an evaluation of TAC housing projects as well as other housing projects throughout Victoria to help create design guidelines for supported accommodation.  Together these studies form the backbone of the SmILE program.

"The vision is to develop new models of attendant care that are tailored to individual needs, flexible architecture that can adapt to specific needs over time and the use of technology in smart houses and in social networking,' Professor Ellis said.

"Traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury can be debilitating injuries that have a life-long impact on the injured person, their family and community.

"As well as the direct physical impact, many aspects of daily function are affected such as the ability to take part in social and community activities and to work."
 
SmILE is a true co-design initiative that gathers together the perspectives and expertise of academics, industry experts, health care professionals, service providers, the TAC and most importantly people living with traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.
 
"The guiding principle of SmILE is working closely with those living with disabilities to understand their real-world needs," Professor Ellis said.