Lima — George Myers, IT director for The Pioneer Center Ross County Board of Developmental Disabilities, was in Lima allowing people to see first-hand the ways technology can enable persons who have disabilities.
Myers said that technology — today called remote support — can provide a tremendous amount of assistance to “persons who have disabilities, adults mostly, who are really trying as hard as they can to live as independently as possible without having to have a bunch of staff in and out of their home.”
Myers demonstrated some examples of types of equipment and other things that one might have in the home of a person with developmental disabilities. He cautioned that every home and every individual is different. The key then is to meet with an individual’s team to determine what might work best for the individual living as independently as possible. Remote support can be in the form of two-way video that is pre-programmed with a particular company’s software. Support then is just a button push away. The person on the video has been trained to know the individual, what they like or don’t like, what helps them and works for them.
The first technology demonstrated was a security system. The remote staff has the ability to monitor the system to know if it has been enabled or when it is disarmed. Door sensors that can tell when a door is open or closed, a motion sensor, or a carbon monoxide detector may be added to the security system. The smoke alarm is not integrated into the system, but there is a sensor near the alarm that would alert those working at the remote facility. A bed sensor may be added which would tell if a person is in bed or not. A bed shaker can also be added which may alert a person of a fire if the sensor is tied in with the smoke alarm or it may be used to wake up at a specified time. Door locks may be programmed into the system.
Assistive technology, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, can be used for persons who may be in wheelchairs or have dexterity issues to voice control items. Microwave ovens, thermostats, and lights are a few of the items that may assist individuals.
Myers concluded, ”There is a huge shortage of people to actually work in jobs with persons with disabilities. These services can help fill gaps when we can’t find human beings to walk in and help people with their actions.”
Reach Dean Brown at 567-242-0409