Expert-ease

A professional evaluation and research service, which assesses providers, projects, community facilities and undertakes research on topical issues relevant to learning disability and autism.

Health and Happiness has over 10 years experience of peer research, facilitating feedback forums, and producing reports which illustrate how lived experience can impact on policy and practice. Examples included our magazine, ‘The Expert Review’, produced several years ago as a pilot into how assessments of community facilities by people with learning disabilities and/or autism were received. Other examples include our research in to medication, as part of a health awareness project, the Highland wide Housing Survey,and working alongside NHS Highland (Accessible Information Officer) on facilitating forums of feedback on materials. Expert-ease brings this experience together in a more formalised way, with trained peer evaluators and researchers (with a learning disability and/or autism), as consultants.

As an asset-based organisation, financial renumeration is, or can be, built into funding applications in order to benefit from our service. This year, we have worked with Viewfield Garden Collective on Skye and are currently evaluating a project led by Engaging With Activity in Sutherland, with a mental health organisation also interested in contracting our service. However, we do not believe that it is only in this way that organisations can help each other! Other forms of exchange are welcome, such as offering us training, or opening up an opportunity for people with disabilities.

Current evaluation and monitoring activities include :-

  1. University of Glasgow (School of Art, Innovation & Design) : a closed research group, looking at creative ways of how supported people can evaluate providers and services, (completes December 2017)
  2. IRISS (Institute of Research & Innovation in Social Services) : providing feedback on the new care standards
  3. “Why Bother? Involving Service Users in Evaluation” (Evaluation Support Scotland publication) – now completed and a workbook which helps organisations develop a robust evaluation strategy. This was produced and developed by ESS from a series of action-learning workshops, where Health and Happiness participated and provided case study material alongside our other partners.

 

Celebrating Down Syndrome Diversity

A special interest project, with research and reporting on the ethical issues involved with screening out Down Syndrome and being part of a global community on this and related issues. Health and happiness is attending the World Down Syndrome Congress in Glasgow in 2018.

 

[Reports and photos to follow]