Being warm being happy: understanding factors influencing adults with learning disabilities being warm and well at home with inclusive research

CHAPMAN, Melanie, GILBERTSON, Jan, BRADLEY, Jodie, DAMM, Christopher, FARNSWORTH, Vicky, FERGUSON, Annie, OWEN, Alison, STAFFORD, Bernard, TAYLOR, Bethany, TOD, Angela and WOLSTENHOLME, Dan (2022). Being warm being happy: understanding factors influencing adults with learning disabilities being warm and well at home with inclusive research. People, Place and Policy Online.

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The aim of the Being Warm Being Happy project was to understand and characterise fuel poverty and energy vulnerability from the perspective of adults with learning disabilities. Undertaken in community settings in South Yorkshire, UK, the study adopted an inclusive research approach, with three members of a self-advocacy organisation who have learning disabilities and/or autism working alongside academics as co-researchers. The study incorporated home temperature and humidity measurements and qualitative individual interviews. Ten households, all of which included an adult with learning disabilities participated in the research. Framework analysis identified four interrelated themes influencing decisions about energy use and payment method. First, energy need varied according to health status. Energy need was also influenced by the size, tenure and age of the participant’s home. Second, emotions, attitudes and values, in particular a sense of control impacted upon energy use. Third, knowledge and previous experience could help or hinder participants keeping warm. Factors included prior first-hand experiences of support from self-advocacy organisations, energy companies and local authorities and the influence of parents’ views and practices. Finally, concerns about affordability and challenges accessing the energy market also had an important impact on experiences and decisions. The research contributes to the limited evidence base about the nature and experience of fuel poverty amongst adults with learning disabilities highlighting the extent to which the existing energy system puts them at a disadvantage and the resourcefulness and resilience of many adults with learning disabilities when facing these challenges.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1605 Policy and Administration; 1608 Sociology; 1801 Law
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2022 08:35
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 09:16

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