Enabling independent living for tenants with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 

Moving out of home typically acts as a significant milestone in one’s life. However, this can cause immense anxiety for those living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Due to financing and accessibility needs, finding suitable housing options for those with ASD is extremely difficult. Whilst people living with ASD may be eligible to use public housing services, the sector currently lacks accessible housing, leaving families wondering what is going to happen when they can no longer care for their child or sibling with ASD. 

This thesis seeks to develop a set of design guidelines to help enable independent living for people on the spectrum. Guidelines are to be informed by data collected from current public housing tenants that are living with ASD through photo elicitation studies and accompanying interviews. These guidelines are then to be tested and refined through the hypothetical redesign of public housing units in Wellington. This proposed redesign is to explore the relationship between neurotypical developments and neurodivergent needs by exploring the public/private interface within the public housing developments and their surrounding streetscapes. 

For further information, contact Amber's supervisor, Crystal Olin crystal.olin@vuw.ac.nz