The Home Modification Information Clearinghouse (HMinfo) celebrated their 10 year anniversary today - an almost unheard of achievement in the research world. UNSW Built Environment (BE) has hosted HMinfo since 1998 and congratulates Associate Professor Catherine Bridge and the HMinfo team for their hard work and significant achievements.
The Hon Andrew Constance MP, NSW Minister for Ageing and Minister for Disability Services today hit the switch to launch the live HMinfo website at the Parliament House event. Also in attendance were BE Dean, Professor Alec Tzannes; Professor Bill Randolph, BE Associate Dean (Research); Chris Chippendale, Executive Director, Community Care Directorate, ADAHC; Stephen Gal A/Executive Director, Community Care Directorate, ADAHC and Professor Peter Phibbs, Head of Discipline, Urban Redevelopment, Renewal and Planning (URRP), USyd and co-founder of the original Home Modification Clearinghouse Service).
HMinfo is dedicated to enabling the design of environments that can be accessed, understood and used regardless of age, size and ability. BE and UNSW view the service as model of best practice and highly values the student, professional and academic partnership that hosting it affords. Further, HMinfo is the only nationally relevant home and community care service that is built from a research and evidence-base which has a triple peer-review process to ensure quality and appropriateness of the information it produces and clears. The review process itself is one that has involved many hours of volunteer time from academics, industry professionals and consumers alike and without which the service would not have established the credibility that it has.
Having a home that enables individuals to participate enhances their wellbeing and compensates for specific impairments. This is central to most individual’s aspirations and is the necessary corollary of the move away from institutional care as it enables people to remain at home and has the potential to prevent accidents such as falls. The rollout of the Commonwealth Governments Aged Care Reform and the National Disability Insurance Scheme are historic and place great emphasis on an individual's ability to move in positive directions. Tied to these beliefs is the confidence that individuals can access the necessary information in language and formats to make positive and proactive home modification decisions in a timely way. The perception of consumers and industry partners as competent, trustworthy, and forward-moving people who have their own unique view of the world places a greater focus than ever before on having the knowledge, skills and resource tools available to them to make this happen. HMinfo is one such tool and is a model for the development of others.
Image above (L-R): The Hon. Andrew Constance, MP; Lyndal Millikan, Prof Catherine Bridge, Prof Bill Randolph, Prof Alec Tzannes at Parliament House, Sydney