“This is great for Sabrina. She can learn to be on her own, she can learn to be independent. I’m just trying to get her set up for life.” Sabrina’s Mom
Fuller, more independent lives for people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities have become a reality. New technologies, policies and funding options are accelerating the transition to these new realities.
The changing landscape can be confusing and difficult to navigate. The team of professionals at MidState Arc work to support the life-long journey to independence at home and integration in the community.
By his mid-sixties, James had lived most of his adult life in a group home. In fact, his world was much smaller–he rarely left his bedroom. Through their approach to assessments and training, the Assistive Technology Training Center (ATECH) team worked with James to identify the right technology solutions to support him along his journey to independent living.
Today, James lives in his own apartment and is venturing well beyond his bedroom. He takes walks around his neighborhood and the exercise has helped him address his health issues and obesity. Sensors in the soles of his shoes allow caregivers to track him on his walks, so they know when he arrives home safely. Now, when he goes shopping, he offers to help others when they need a hand with their groceries. James is now connected to his community in new and wonderful ways.
A 3-Phase Model for Success
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to independence, and the assistive, smart technologies we use help each person live increasingly independent lives both at home and in the community. The MidState team empowers people with IDD by integrating customized assistive technologies. To do this, we use a 3-phase model that includes:
Every assessment is conducted through a collaborative process that centers around the individual living with IDD and includes the MidState support team, loved ones, other caregivers, staff members, and, in some cases, health professionals or therapists.
Training & Transition
Experienced MidState staff members offer training to help people living with IDD and their caregivers use the assistive technology in their natural surroundings, whether that be at home, work, school, in the community, or elsewhere. We also provide transition support to ensure the assistive technology solutions are incorporated into daily life.
Remote Monitoring support is tailored to each person with IDD’s needs and abilities. These services include a combination of electronic sensors, speakers and microphones, smoke detectors, temperature detectors, personal emergency response systems, and more that link each individual’s home to remote caregivers who provide remote supported-living services.
with a Safety Net
Independence demands that people with IDD have the opportunity to make choices and take risks. The MidState team helps each individual we serve make good choices by allowing for individual exploration and learning by trial and error. While providing the necessary level of supervision, our model leads the way for people living with IDD to have the same choices and resources as the average community member.
“It’s a powerful moment when people with IDD can recognize, this life is mine. I have control of my own world.” Then they’re laughing more and looking for ways to engage in the community.”
—Kathryn Wood, Director of Community Integration, MidState Arc