The Expertise Centre Independent Living (Belgium) published a study in May 2011 on quality of life of people who use a Personal Assistance Budget (PAB) in Flanders to organize their support. Following this research we spoke with the renowned professor Robert Schalock. He tells us more about the concept of Quality of Life.
-A lot of our readers have heard about you and your work in the field of Quality of Life-research. For the people that don’t know who you are, could you introduce yourself?
The concept of quality of life appeared in my writings in the mid 1980s based on the evaluation of community based programs in Nebraska. At that time, we were establishing community-based residential and vocational programs for persons with intellectual disability and were placing individuals into more independent and productive community environments. We were proud of our accomplishments were as we continued the research activities it became apparent that something was missing in our work. I remember well, for example, making the following comment in a 1986 AJMR article: “Although we had succeeded in placing people into more independent and productive environments, we had overlooked an important item: their quality of life.’Even though I knew very little about the concept from a literature perspective, intuitively it made good sense to focus on a life of quality, which lead to the work on quality of life that I have been involved in ever since.