The first two sections of this website discuss how to prepare for and create the Home Usability Network. This has involved ensuring that you have the proper tools and permissions in place to facilitate a home usability process effectively. It has also involved actively identifying and recruiting the community members that will make up your local Home Usability Network. This section, Step 3: Implement, will outline how to use the HUN to address consumer usability problems.
The diagram above outlines the implementation process. We have already covered the very first step of the process, recruiting and building your local Home Usability Network. It is best to have some network members in place before you begin contacting consumers. The next two steps of the implementation process will be completed by the research team at the University of Montana. These steps focus on collecting information (the Health and Home survey) about the home usability problems of individuals with disabilities in your community, and recruiting some of these individuals to participate in this project.* Using results from this survey the UM team will contact individuals in your communities about participating in this project. More information on the Health and Home survey and consumer outreach is provided below.
Once we have identified interested individuals we will refer them to the local CIL. Interested individuals will contact the CIL and ask about the Home Usability Network. Make sure that your office knows to forward these calls onto you and anyone you have working on this project. The home usability plan can be completed independently by the consumer, at the center with the CIL staff, over the phone, or during a home visit. The Home Usability Plan will help outline 1) the problem(s) to be addressed, 2) the resources available, 3) the HUN members to activate and 4) the tasks to be completed in order to solve the problem. For more complex home usability issues we highly encourage making a home visit. More on this on the next page.
Once the home usability plan is complete the next step is to think about how to incorporate HUN members. This will help further establish timelines and tasks to be completed. After this meeting, the next step is to follow up with the consumer and the network members to ensure that everything is on track. Finally, once the problems have been addressed it is time to celebrate your success!
*This is a research project through the University of Montana and the University of Kansas, funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research. The survey and recruitment methods for this project are specific to this research. For future implementation of the Home Usability Network no survey will be necessary. Rather, the network can be used to help existing consumers or those already on a home modification waiting list.
Health and Home Survey
The UM research team will send the Health and Home survey to individuals in your community to identify those who both have home usability issues and are interested in participating in the Home Usability Network. In addition to home usability issues, the survey has questions about health, community participation and social engagement. This will help us identify how changes in the usability of one’s home may influence their health and community participation.
The survey will be mailed out to both consumers of the local CIL as well as other people with disabilities in the areas served by the CIL. This means that some of the individuals selected could be current CIL consumers while others may be new to your center and the services it provides.
The UM research team will process all the surveys that are returned. Working with our CIL partners we will identify consumers with relevant home usability issues. This subsequent list of consumers will be randomly sorted and the research team will begin recruiting project participants.
The research team will reach out to potential participants to introduce the project and discuss participation. We will introduce them to the website and refer them to the local CIL.