The User-Friendly Index of Care Project

IMPORTANT: to gain access to the four ‘Steps’ of the Index of Care, as well as to the electronic feedback form for this project, you must be logged in as a registered user. This is essential for protecting website security.

The Index of Care is a free, on-line instrument for studying evidence of disability and care in the past. However, because it was created specifically for bioarchaeologists, aspects of its design can be confusing for people outside this specialist field. Yet the Index can help bring to light information which enriches our understanding of past behavior, and we believe it should be readily accessible to interested non-specialists.

To this end, we are exploring ways to make the Index easier for non-archaeologists to use. In this first stage of the project, we are focusing on ways to make the Index more relevant to Tribal and First Nations community concerns - with the aim of facilitating community members’ participation in research involving their cultural heritage.

The Handout (second button on left) provides more information about the Index of Care and the aims of this project, along with an example of Index use in the case study of a woman from the Hohokam culture (1200AD) who lived with severe disability for over a decade. The Background paper (third button on left) gives an overview of what research into past disability and care covers and why it is important, and offers two more case studies to illustrate the points made. The poster at the bottom of this page provides a more detailed overview of the four Steps of the Index of Care than was possible in the Handout - click on a thumbnail to download.

To help in any eventual design of a modified version of the Index of Care, we are asking for your ideas via a set of feedback questions.

Please log in and scroll through the Index, considering whether such an instrument might in principle be useful to your community, whether changes are needed to the existing Index, and, if so, what sort of changes would improve it. Then tell us what you think, using the ‘Feedback’ form (bottom button on left).

Remember, you must log in to access the Index and the feedback form. If this is your first visit to the Index of Care website,  register as a new user and enter the name of a ‘test subject’ when prompted. Once logged in, ‘The Index’ tab will appear on the bar at the top of the screen (giving access to the Index instrument) and the electronic feedback form will be activated.

Your views are very valuable to us, and all information provided will be treated as confidential. 

Thank you for taking part in this project.

User-Friendly Index of Care Project Team Members: Alyson Caine (Dickinson College, Pennsylvania, USA); Ihuixaya Tapia (California State University, Monterey Bay, USA); Christopher Canzonieri (Basin Research Associates, San Leandro, California, USA); Tony Cameron (IT Support, Canberra, Australia); and Lorna Tilley (Independent Researcher, Canberra, Australia)


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