Based on our commitment to the Independent Living philosophy, one of the fundamental principles of the Home Usability Program is to ensure that the process remains “consumer-driven.” This means that the person with the disability, a family member, or some other person designated by the consumer is the one who:
Starts the process—they make initial contact with the Center for Independent Living (CIL).
Directs the process—the consumer decides what they want done. This does not exclude the input of the CIL staff person or any other people who may have expertise to offer, especially if it is information not known by the consumer.
Monitors the process—the consumer makes sure the process is done in the way they want and in a timely and efficient manner. Again, some of this may be beyond the individual’s control or knowledge base, so assistance may be provided by the CIL staff, friends, or family.
Evaluates the process—did the person get what he or she wanted, or better? The consumer is the one who best determines this.
In the ideal situation, the person needing assistance understands the problem, can articulate what they need or want, and decides if it was done sufficiently. There are many times when a consumer knows there is a problem, but does not know how to fix it. This is where the Home Usability Network plays a role. Various resources in the HUN can provide options to help the consumer determine the best way to address a particular usability need.