The Conversation for Family and Self-Advocates


The Conversation

The conversation is a collaboration between individuals, families, case managers, and providers to explore how using technology can increase independence and safety of the person supported.

During these initial conversations, families and self advocates are able to learn more about available technology supports and get any questions answered. The ultimate goal of these discussions is to ensure the person served and family member(s) are able to make an informed decision on which technology supports may be used to help reinforce the individual’s desired lifestyle.

The conversation should conclude with everyone being on the same page.

Keys to a successful conversation

As you begin conversations, utilize the questions below as a guide.

Decide what is important and where help is needed:

  • What are the thing(s) I/my family member want(s) to do with less caregiver intervention? (ex: live in own home with less staff; be in own room without staff checking in all the time; get to work; take medications; choose and make own food; etc.)
  • What is my/my family member’s technical knowledge and ability?
  • What areas of my/my family member’s life do I/they strive to be more independent in?
  • What tasks or activities can be done on my/my family member’s own?

Ask questions of providers and case managers to review opportunities

What technology is out there? What is available for me/my family member? How safe is it? These are all questions that will be discussed with the team to gather information on which technology supports are available to you/your family member and how they can be used. From these initial conversations, a plan can be prepared based on you and your family member’s wishes.

Conversation Starters

Many service providers and technology service vendors utilize “assessment” tools when recommending options to individuals. These may act as useful guides as conversations begin. Learn to ask the right questions by utilizing additional assessment tools.

Next Steps

If you have additional question about the conversation, ask one of our Mentors. Once initial conversations have been had with all stakeholders, the next step can begin by creating a plan tailored to the individual.

Begin planning


Assessments for remote monitoring—and technology in general—help teams ask the right questions to identify goals and outcomes technology may assist with. Most technology service vendors and many service providers have their own assessment process to help fine tune outcomes and recommend specific tool options.

New legislation goes into effect on August 1, 2017, requiring technology supports be discussed as part of all 45-day planning meetings for people with disabilities. These meetings establish the needs of the individual receiving services, their personal goals, and the supportive services necessary to meet these objectives.

The DHS Olmstead Plan outlines several key goals that must be accomplished to ensure people with disabilities are living, learning, working, and enjoying life in the most integrated setting possible.

The first video training course, “Technology 101: The Conversation,” guides providers, support staff, case managers, and families through the steps necessary to have thoughtful, shared conversations regarding the addition and use of technology in care plans.

An exploration of technology support options began when a group of men with developmental disabilities expressed their desires for increased privacy and independence.

This assessment was created by the State of Ohio to specifically assist in the process of including remote monitoring technology as part of an individual’s care plan.

This document was created to support initial conversations related to using technology supports for people served by Hammer Residences, Inc. Hammer staff utilize this document after an initial general consultation and is intended to describe the individual’s functional skills and abilities concerning the need for technology as a support as well as outline possible solutions and future outcome documentation.