Participation Opportunities for Adults With Intellectual Disabilities Provided by Disability Services in One Australian State
The participation of service users in the planning and delivery of disability services is an unequivocal ideal in many countries. However, making the shift from espoused ideals of participation to effective, credible involvement of people with disability and families in agency planning and delivery is often challenging and not fully realized. The authors undertook a study to discern the nature and extent of service user participation opportunities within a range of organizations that provide disability services in one Australian state. A "snapshot" of how services are involving service users and their families, carers, and advocates in all aspects of their service, including service planning, development, and delivery, was obtained via a mailed survey instrument. Some 200 agencies or services receiving funding from the state government participated in the survey. Findings reveal that service providers overall are providing a broad range of opportunities and activities for service user participation in the service, but their effectiveness is variable across different organizations and subject to differing conditions. The authors concluded that characteristics of the service, the community, and the service users and their families, carers, and advocates, all influence the dynamic environment for participation.
Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
Counselling, Welfare and Community Services