In support of Autism Awareness Month – April 2021
At Care Housing Association we understand the importance of having good knowledge of the needs of the individuals we provide housing for and the ability to work creatively to meet these needs. This rarely applies more than when we’re planning a home for someone who has autism. We recognise too that not everyone with autism is the same and that needs and preferences vary from individual to individual. We don’t assume, we consult and then we action.
We recognise how critical it is to have the right living environment for people and our team is well experienced in identifying what an individual needs in terms of housing. We listen to service providers and families and we have staff who are trained in autism so they have a good awareness of the needs of our tenants and are able to share ideas for building design.
To identify the needs of the person we work closely with parents and multi-disciplinary teams, then we all work alongside our surveyor and building contractors who creatively design and develop homes to an impressively high standard. Homes that look like homes, not institutions.
When you put caring people, knowledgeable heads and positive energies together, you can create magic!
Some of the adaptations we make could seem like small changes but they’re often ones which make all the difference to someone, or are even crucial for the daily functioning and security of the person living there e.g. one-way privacy film on windows can protect a person’s dignity; certain rooms designed without doors where someone has concerns about being closed in; sensory considerations like internal décor, colour schemes, noise-reduction features to make the living environment easier and less stressful to be in.
We also find and develop properties which fit the complex needs of a person. These require close multi-disciplinary team work, a comprehensive property search to see what’s available on the property market and very significant adaptations requiring the building to sometimes be totally reconfigured. These have included completely changing the layout of properties to re-design access, create open-plan interiors, build extensions, install robust wet rooms, walls, doorways and kitchens, install extensive sound proofing, sensitive heating/cooling facilities, install air conditioning units and enable the use of adaptive technology. These are all done with ordinary housing in ordinary communities. They don’t stand out and they don’t have an institutional look. They are valued and valuable properties. Take a look at some of our tailored properties here.
It’s hugely important to us that we provide housing that is fit for purpose for the tenants who live there. We want them to feel happy, safe and secure in their homes and for their living environment to enhance their wellbeing. We want our tenants to be able to live their lives as well as they possibly can with a valued community profile.
Look out for two more articles we’ll be sharing in support of Autism Awareness Month 2021