Hom­ing in on Dundee’s in­de­pen­dent liv­ing

Pi­o­neer­ing homes aim to trans­form the lives of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - Michael alexander

It sounds like the stuff of science fic­tion.

A wash­ing ma­chine that cleans and irons clothes, kitchen units that lower at the touch of a but­ton and blinds that au­to­mat­i­cally open and close to in­crease the chance of a good night’s sleep.

But these state of the art fea­tures are all very real as­pects of six pi­o­neer­ing homes that were launched in Dundee yes­ter­day to help trans­form the lives of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

Hous­ing and care provider Blackwood has de­signed six houses which set a new stan­dard of ac­ces­si­bil­ity, with the help of tech­nol­ogy and mod­ern con­struc­tion.

Blackwood chair­man Max Brown wel­comed Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment and Hous­ing Min­is­ter Kevin Ste­wart to the of­fi­cial open­ing of the new Blackwood House devel­op­ment off Glamis Road.

It is a de­sign blue­print for flex­i­ble liv­ing which Ed­in­burgh-based Blackwood plans to roll out in in­creas­ing num­bers across Scot­land.

Coun­cil­lor Ken Lynn, chair­man of Dundee’s Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship, was also present to wel­come the con­tri­bu­tion that these homes make to the city’s new plans to help peo­ple live in­de­pen­dently.

Mr Ste­wart said: “I’m de­lighted to open this devel­op­ment of ac­ces­si­ble and con­nected homes in Dundee.

“This new hous­ing devel­op­ment sup­ports the gov­ern­ment’s am­bi­tion set out in A Fairer Scot­land for Dis­abled Peo­ple – our Dis­abil­ity De­liv­ery Plan, that dis­abled peo­ple in Scot­land should live life to the full in homes built or adapted to en­able them to par­tic­i­pate as full and equal cit­i­zens.

“The Blackwood House is also a great ex­am­ple of how suit­able hous­ing can con­trib­ute to health and well­be­ing out­comes both for the peo­ple who live there and more widely for the lo­cal health and so­cial care part­ner­ship.

“Most im­por­tantly, they pro­vide safe and af­ford­able homes for the ten­ants, to en­able them to live in­de­pen­dently.”

Fanchea Kelly, chief ex­ec­u­tive at Blackwood, said it was a first demonstration of what great de­sign can do to im­prove health and ul­ti­mately change lives.

She said: “We be­lieve that these beau­ti­ful, highly ac­ces­si­ble and af­ford­able homes will en­hance the lives of our new ten­ants.

“Tech­nol­ogy has an in­creas­ingly vi­tal part to play in the way homes are de­signed for peo­ple with vary­ing lev­els of dis­abil­ity and we’re ex­cited to put this new stan­dard for ac­ces­si­bil­ity into prac­tice in Dundee.

“The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has brought health and so­cial care ser­vices to­gether in ev­ery area of Scot­land and through the Blackwood House we of­fer a be­spoke, mod­ern ex­am­ple of what in­de­pen­dent liv­ing should look like.”

The project was an ex­am­ple of joint com­mis­sion­ing be­tween Dundee City Coun­cil, Dundee’s Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship and the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment. The team worked with CCG as de­vel­oper, Blackwood’s own staff and cus­tomers, and tech­nol­ogy part­ners, with fund­ing pro­vided by Tri­o­dos Bank.

Blackwood is now in dis­cus­sion with sev­eral other lo­cal au­thor­ity ar­eas to roll out sim­i­lar schemes else­where.

Tech­nol­ogy has an in­creas­ingly vi­tal part to play in the way homes are de­signed for peo­ple with vary­ing lev­el­sof dis­abil­ity. BLACKWOOD CHIEF EX­EC­U­TIVE FANCHEA KELLY

Surely even George Or­well couldn’t have imag­ined how true his dystopian novel, 1984, would be­come.

While we re­ally do live in a world where Big Brother is watch­ing us, track­ing our move­ments covertly and overtly, not all tech­nol­ogy is sin­is­ter.

The dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion has changed the world in many very good ways.

One such ad­vance­ment was out­lined yes­ter­day, a fit­ting ex­am­ple of tech­nol­ogy and phys­i­cal de­sign work­ing to­gether to cre­ate a bet­ter world.

While it sounds like science fic­tion, it’s very real. There re­ally is a wash­ing ma­chine that can clean and iron clothes, kitchen units that can lower on demand, and blinds that can an­tic­i­pate our needs for light.

All this and more adds up to in­de­pen­dence and a good qual­ity of life for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, mo­bil­ity is­sues, or el­derly peo­ple want­ing to en­joy a self-suf­fi­cient life in their own homes.

The six homes un­veiled yes­ter­day re­ally are a blue­print for an ac­ces­si­ble fu­ture, and they are ada­p­at­able too, able to in­cor­po­rate spe­cific and chang­ing needs.

They are also af­ford­able, putting them in reach of the peo­ple who re­ally need them.

Per­haps even Dr Margaret Blackwood her­self could not have imag­ined these homes, but the tire­less cam­paigner for the rights of the dis­abled to in­de­pen­dent liv­ing would most cer­tainly ap­prove.

Pic­tures: Mhairi Ed­wards.

Colin Fos­kett, head of in­no­va­tion for the Clev­erCogs app which con­trols func­tions. Our re­porter Michael, top, and Blackwood busi­ness man­ager Elaine Rosie, above.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.