Research impact - Living in community settings

A case study submitted to the Research Excellence Framework 2014 demonstrating the impact of the University's research.

Pioneering research at Kent by the late Jim Mansell and Professor Julie Beadle-Brown has shown that small-scale, dispersed community settings provide the best quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Evidence demonstrated that this kind of setting is able to improve social networks and friendships, aid adaptive behaviour, improve family satisfaction and enhance choice and autonomy. These benefits are further enhanced when staff employ a style of interaction known as Person-centred Active Support.

The findings of the research have transformed the political and public debate around reducing the reliance on institutional environments for people with IDD. The work undertaken by Kent’s Tizard Centre has also informed the management of services and improved the lives of people with IDD by changing the practices and attitudes of staff. These positive effects have reached far beyond the UK, extending to Ireland, Central and Eastern Europe, Australia and elsewhere.

The Research Excellence Framework 2014 showed that Kent ranks 17th in the UK for research intensity, has world-leading research in all subjects and that 97% of our research is deemed to be of international quality.

Contributing to the University’s REF success were the number of our world class publications, the number of research active staff and the demonstrable impact our research has made to the sciences and to economic, social and cultural understanding.