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The Symphonic Passion Chorus: A Case Study in Meaning-Centered Service Design

Jafry, Azeezah and Puvanesasingham, Ram (2024) The Symphonic Passion Chorus: A Case Study in Meaning-Centered Service Design. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Jafry, Azeezah and Puvanesasingham, Ram

Organizations that provide services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) struggle to provide meaningful participation for their constituents. IDD adults experience higher rates of loneliness and isolation than the general population—a situation that the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated. However, in contrast to these difficulties and trends, the Symphonic Passion Chorus, a musical choir for adults with IDD in Toronto, has supported song learning and socialization for its members for the past 19 years.

Incredibly, despite challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the choir maintained a stable membership supported by a resilient community, even overcoming Information and Communication Technology (ICT) barriers through home-grown and community-generated workarounds.

To better understand factors that contribute to the choir's longevity, resiliency, and ability to overcome barriers, we employed a qualitative research design consisting of semi-structured interviews, field observations, and thematic analysis, revealing how the choir can be understood as an intrinsically meaningful (rewarding for its own sake) coordinative art form that draws members together, thus fostering cohesion: E.g., members described being motivated by opportunities for creative expression and shared purposes, which inspired them to self-organize to develop ICT-based adaptations and workarounds in response to pandemic-related challenges to maintain connections to each other and the intrinsic rewards of the choir.

Our findings suggest that the choir's self-regulating feedback loops are akin to a complex adaptive system, which can provide insights for improving adaptable and resilient supports for the adult IDD population.
Informed by these findings, we offer recommendations for 1. Meaning-Centered Design (MCD), which we conceptualize as integrating intrinsically meaningful activities with the core service activities of an organization; 2. Embedding participatory research into organizational activities to reveal emergent community-driven innovation that supports organizational aims that fall outside of official organizational mandates.

Our findings, MCD conceptual model and recommendations serve as a framework for developing inclusive, resilient, and adaptive services that enhance the well-being of individuals and communities.

Date: 8 May 2024
Uncontrolled Keywords: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Adults, Choir, Social Connection, Coordinative Arts, Well-being, Accessibility, Co-Design, Meaningful Service Design, Complex Adaptive Systems, Social Innovation
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Inclusive Design
Date Deposited: 08 May 2024 19:52
Last Modified: 08 May 2024 19:52
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/4488

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