In August of 2016 I was selected to take part in a funded internship program established by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Knowledge Mobilization Unit at York University. The internship is being offered in partnership between York University and the Ontario Community Support Association.
Through this program I have undertaken an empirical research project looking at the experience of autonomy among clients of home and community support service agencies in Ontario.
In the winter of 2017 I conducted a pilot project, interviewing clients of home and community support agencies in Toronto and in Southwestern Ontario. With the generous participation of six agencies and 10 clients, I learned to see home and community support services from the perspective of the people they serve. I used what I heard in the interviews to develop a survey about autonomy in the home and community support sector and cooperated with agencies across the province to recruit clients to complete the survey.
In August of 2017 I presented a philosophical analysis of some autonomy-related themes emerging from the pilot project at the second workshop of the Suffering and Autonomy at the End of Life Project at the University of Glasgow.
The survey phase was mostly completed in October 2017, though some responses are still trickling in!