Cate MacMillan's Thesis Presentation

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Cate MacMillan's Thesis Presentation

We invite you to attend the Thesis Presentation of Cate MacMillan, a Doctor of Philosophy candidate within the School of Social Sciences, in the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law.

Title: Identifying and understanding the neighbourhood attributes which best support independent living opportunities for adults with intellectual disability

Presenter: Cate MacMillan

When: Wednesday 31 October 10-11am

Where: Building E, 1.04 

Abstract: Choosing where to live is an important decision for anybody. The decision is more complex if you are an adult with intellectual disability. If medical advances continue to improve the longevity of adults with intellectual disability, many of these adults will outlive their parents. With appropriate community support, and in appropriate neighbourhoods, many will be able to live independently. This research asked adults with intellectual disability, parents and carers and disability, housing and built environment decision makers what they considered important in deciding where to live.

This research suggests that the key to achieving independent living as an adult with intellectual disability is that it is not so much about the house but the type of neighbourhood and its attributes. A sociotechnical systems approach has been applied to explore neighbourhoods as systems to determine which attributes will better inform urban development decision-makers in establishing safe, inclusive and accessible neighbourhoods.

Bio: Cate has undertaken her PhD of Urban Planning with the Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems at USC.

Cate’s career as a teacher in secondary schools, administrator in Primary and Secondary schools culminating in seven years as Principal of Noosa District SHS, always had a focus on the inclusion and education of young adults with disabilities. A change in career to return to study Property Economics and Development in 2011 enabled Cate to continue to work as a volunteer with adults with disabilities through The Compass Institute at Palmwoods. Here, Cate became aware of the need to address housing options for adults with disabilities wanting to leave the family home.

On realising that there was an ad-hoc approach to what individual families were undertaking in trying to provide housing options for adults with intellectual disability on the Sunshine Coast, Cate began to look to the Sunshine Coast Council Planning Scheme documents for answers. On graduating with a BBus Property Economics and Development in 2014, Cate investigated this area of study through a PhD in Urban Planning at USC.

The research provides a platform on which urban planners and housing providers can support families and adults with intellectual disability to explore neighbourhoods for independent living opportunities.

Should you have any questions about this event please contact

We look forward to seeing you there.

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