The UN’s Convention on the rights of persons with disability states that all people with disability should have equal rights and opportunities, and to be included in society. The purpose of the convention is to ensure that people with disability also can enjoy their full rights. To emphatically understand life quality for this group is paramount in working for an inclusive society where all have the opportunity to live a good life.
Since 2015, Lumen Behavior has conducted life quality measurements amongst people with disability together with Frösunda Omsorg, a company that provides daily care to 3000 individuals across Sweden. By using the acknowledge tools of the PERMA profiler, measuring subjective well being, as well as the Cantril ladder - we have systematically been listening to a group whose opinions of their own wellbeing and life quality have often neglected by mainstream society.
People with disabilities are often excluded from sharing their opinions due to difficulties in communicating. To voice one's ideas and communicate is a basic human right so we explored the tools available to measure well-being amongst people with intellectual disabilities.
AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) is a collective term for efforts that helps improve people’s ability to communicate. AAC includes natural communications support like body language and gestures, but also pictures, signs and symbols that complement or replace verbal communication. By incorporating the method of picture support in the life quality measurements, we have enabled people to communicate their perceptions on life quality and well-being.
One of Frösundas customers we have worked with in our well being surveys is Simon, who uses his iPad as a communication tool. He participated in our survey and, as the dedicated blogger he is, wrote about the experience in his blog. Simon mentioned the need to be understood and have the right to decide for himself to be the most important factors in reaching life quality.