Using social return on investment analysis to calculate the social impact of modified vehicles for people with disability

Claire Hutchinson, Angela Berndt, Susan Gilbert-Hunt, Stacey George, Julie Ratcliffe

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


With vehicle modifications (VMs), it is possible for many people with acquired disability to return to driving as part of their rehabilitation goals. Modifications can range from simple to complex, and relatively inexpensive to costly. We present the findings of a social return on investment (SROI) analysis of VMs. SROI is an innovative methodology for measuring and valuing a wide range of personal, social and community outcomes. In addition to funders’ investment in VMs, people with disabilities also invest financially as well as with their time. We therefore adopted a co-investment model to estimate SROI and payback period for both parties. Five scenarios were developed to capture different levels of investment (low cost to high end technology). VMs were associated with a wide range of positive outcomes and greatly improved the quality of life of people with disabilities, as well as providing outcomes for carers and the community. For funders, an SROI of between $135.01 and $3.40 was estimated for every $1 invested and, for drivers, between $15.29 and $19.86 for every $1 invested. For consumers, payback periods were between 5.4 and 7.1 months. For funders, who bear a more substantial proportion of the investment in high end technology, payback for even the most complex scenario was 2 years 8.4 months. Though conducted in Australia, we believe this research is highly relevant to an international audience and is expected to be of interest to people with disabilities, their families, practitioners, funding bodies, policy makers, and disability advocacy groups.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventThe 3rd World Disability and Rehabilitation Conference 2018 (WDRC2018): Global advocacy and rights of people with disabilities - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Duration: 12 Nov 201813 Nov 2018


ConferenceThe 3rd World Disability and Rehabilitation Conference 2018 (WDRC2018)
Abbreviated titleWDRC 2018
CityKuala Lumpur


  • Vehicle modifications
  • drivers with disability
  • driver rehabilitation
  • ocial return on investment


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