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Independent Living Project 

We wanted to find out what independence meant to disabled people in Norfolk and how that translated into accommodation choices. This was achieved through surveys, case studies and visits to residential care homes throughout the county.


To begin with we created a survey to establish what independence meant. After careful analysis of the result we created the following definition.

Over a pink background, within a pale green, inner text box are the purple words 'Independence Statement: 'Being able to make informed decisions and have choice and control over our lives, with or without support'. Below that, text of the same purple shade reads 'Easy Read Version: The meaning of independence. Making informed decisions. Being in control'.

We also created surveys for people who live in the community and those in residential care settings. Here are some of the results.

Orange Bar Chart, the title of which is 'What are the barriers to paid employment or volunteering opportunities?'. The Y axis goes from zero to twelve in increments of two. And along the x axis are the words 'Flexibility', the bar for which is the second highest at 6, 'Not financially viable', the bar for which is at 1, 'Attitudes', which is the highest bar reaching 10, 'Physical barriers', the bar for which reaches 4, 'Age', the bar which reaches 2, 'None', the bar for which reaches 1, 'Health' the bar for which is 4, making it joint third highest with 'Age', and 'Transport', the bar for which reaches 2. So attitudes are  the biggest barrier, according to the survey respondents.

Residential Care 

Living in the Community 

Two bar charts comparing how respondents in Residential Care and those Living in the Community spend their day, with purple bars and orange bars, respectively. Those in Residential Care answered (in descending order); 'Internal activities with carers’ which had 34 respondents, ‘External group activities’, ‘Timetabled routines’, ‘In room watching tv or reading, going out with friends or family, internet and daycentre visits were joint second to last, and the least respondents said, ‘external activities one to one with carers’. Those respondents Living in the Community answered (in descending order); ‘At home’ which had 17 respondents, ‘Socialising’, ‘Volunteering’, ‘Employment’ and Hobbies’ tied with 7 respondents each, ‘Internet’, ‘Appoi
Orange Bar Chart, the title of which is 'What is one big change that could be made to make you feel more independent?'. The Y axis goes from zero to twelve in increments of two. ‘Accessible transport’ was the highest voted area (10), followed by joint second place being ‘More suitable mobility aids’ and ‘Financial support’ (both with 6 votes), three changes were voted as joint third place, each receiving 4 votes;’ Ability to travel further afield’, ‘New accommodation’ and ‘Personalised support’, and the lowest scoring change voted on was ‘Attitudes’ (2 votes).

Our Accessible transport project has been created as a result of the experiences of those who took part in the Independent Living Project, in combination with our other members responses. Transport was a barrier to independence for those living in the community as well as those residing in residential care homes. 


We found that choice and control of housing options and the ability to live independently without barriers, physical and attitudinal, were the most important factors through the project. Some people wanted to remain in their own homes with adaptations whereas others wanted to move to more accessible accommodation, such as a bungalow. Wellbeing was also a common trend throughout the project. This included access to local amenities and day centres and being near family and friends.


We shared our recommendations with Norfolk County Council and will update this page further once we hear more about any decisions that have been made about accommodation options for people with disabilities in Norfolk.

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