ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

2aAA5. Evaluation of accessibility needs in a home for the aged.

M. Kathleen Pichora-Fuller

School of Audiol. and Speech Sci., Univ. of British Columbia, 5804 Fairview Ave., Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada

Audiological rehabilitation has traditionally focused on the hard-of-hearing individual. In contrast, the needs of groups who perform specific activities in specific locations must be evaluated in planning facility-based accessibility programs. Such evaluations are necessary when planners design programs where solutions may be achieved by a combination of strategies including modification of the environment, provision of personal or institutional assistive technology, or communication training. The present study demonstrates how accessibility needs were evaluated in a home for the aged. For a group of 30 residents, scope of participation in activities and quality of communication during activities were measured four times over two years, twice before and twice after program implementation. In a pilot study, groups of residents and staff identified situations at the home where they felt that hearing was important. The evaluation of communication function was keyed to these situations. The patterns of scope and quality of communication were used to formulate an accessibility plane. Baseline and outcome data regarding the extent to which the program accomplished accessibility will be presented. For example, the program rendered meetings and chapel services accessible to most residents whereas situations such as dining in the dining hall remained inaccessible. [Work supported by NHRDP.]