The Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship, in partnership with Vela Canada and Community Living British Columbia is pleased to share the results of our two-year qualitative research study on the impacts of Microboards on social capital of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Research tells us that the more social capital (or connections) that a person has in their network, the greater quality of life they will have. For this project, we wanted to know how Microboards helped to connect people with their communities in ways that helped to increase social capital and quality of life.
The project interviewed people involved in Microboards across the province of British Columbia to hear and learn from their experiences. Researchers learned that Microboards are autonomous, person-centered, empowering, and interconnected; and that because of these four characteristics Microboards act as a “vehicle” for increasing social capital and quality of life.
One participant captured the experience of many when stating “Having the Microboard just makes it really flexible for somebody with such high complex needs to not just exist, but to truly live. And without the Microboard, [he] wouldn’t have the unique, rich life that he does have”
More research is needed to explore the long-term benefits of Microboards, including their potential to reduce the need for other supports or interventions. More research is also needed to explore and compare different people’s experiences to get a better sense of how other factors may impact the effectiveness of Microboards in being autonomous, person-centered, empowering, and interconnected.
This project was conducted as a university-community partnership and we are grateful to all the participants who shared their stories, and to Mitacs Accelerate Program for funding support.
Clarification: In the above video it states that Microboards were started by Vela Canada. In fact the concept of a Microboard was first developed by David Weatherow in Manitoba.
Click here to view the full research project on the Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship’s website.