Introduction To Technology

Why Technology Matters

Across the nation there are approximately 28 million
United States citizens with cognitive disabilities. Each
individual has their own dreams and wishes for a fulfilling life.

The TIP Squad, Technology Innovations for People, is an internship program made up of individuals supported by Ability Beyond. They are savvy about technology and their role is to pre-pilot the latest technologies before we formally pilot it with individuals.
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Mainstream technology has been piloted by Ability Beyond to improve the quality of life for the people we serve. We have listed below the key areas that can be improved by technology.

While cognitive and physical disabilities present unique needs for each person, the commitment across the nation is for each individual with a disability to have full inclusion in their community. Technology can be vital in building independence and supporting self-determination for individuals. Ability Beyond has seen the impact of technology, we have heard from individuals in our programs, families and staff that a device has provided them more independence, that they were able to communicate easily through a simple device that they are engaging in activity more because of the use of technology.

Why Mainstream Technology

Technology enriches individuals’ lives by addressing needs such as communication, mobility, safety, engagement, health/nutrition and independence. Many products have been designed and marketed specifically as Assistive technology for individuals with disabilities. We are also looking at mainstream technology that can support individuals in their homes, apartments, at school, at work and in their communities.

Examples of mainstream technology may include simple technology like:

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Fit-Bits that promote a healthy lifestyle focusing on physical exercise, these devices can also help with monitoring sleep patterns and heart rate.

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Smart Home products can support individuals with safety; locks that can be programmed on doors to only allow approved individuals to enter apartments. Simple products such as Smart thermostats can help individuals that live on a tight budget with entitlements by turning off lights and regulating temperatures, reducing monthly expenses.

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Products designed specifically to help individuals with disabilities include automated medication dispensers, smart-home technologies with sensors that can alert families or caregivers when someone leaves a home and GPS watches for individuals that may wander or get lost.

Mainstream technology changes every day. Ability Beyond is dedicated to continually assessing new products that can support individuals’ needs. Technology is essential now and in the future of providing services; the number of individuals needing support is continually rising, including the aging population.
Less financial resources are available to support individuals and there is a shortage of caregivers in many areas. Technology can address the needs of individuals, families and the community when includes a thoughtful plan for addressing the need. Through the use of technology more individuals can be supported through creative methods. Most importantly individuals can experience increased independence, improved quality of care and autonomy.