Utilize technology to increase self-sufficiency and promote independence.

People with disabilities will live, play, and work increasingly individualized and independent lives in mainstream communities. The question is how supportive services will be enhanced, changed, adapted, or even minimized based on individual needs and goals to achieve this independence.

The answer is technology. Today’s world is filled with many new and exciting technologies—many geared towards making life simpler and easier. These same technologies are being utilized to help increase independence and assist in daily tasks for people living with disabilities.

Safety and Security

Technology is only as good as the plan in place. Individuals, families, providers, and case managers collaborate to create a solution that provides the right level of support. The team will collectively decide which options work best for their situation and comfort level. Technology supports are not all or nothing. Solutions range from medication reminders to remote supervision systems. Many options can be implemented in phases over time to ensure the system put in place works as expected and the desired results are achieved.


Many simple options exist that can help with daily tasks. Low-cost phone applications are able to help with reminders, and personal home assistants (such as Amazon Echo and Google Home) can help program lights, music, and more. From these consumer-based technologies to remote support system integration, technology has amazing potential to increase independence.

With so many options available, it can be a little overwhelming. The Technology Resource Center provides the information needed to make an informed decision.

Begin the process to:

  • Find the technology option that’s right for those living with disabilities
  • Learn about safety and security
  • Discover available options

The Conversation for Family and Self-Advocates

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 Planning for Family and Self-Advocates

Planning is a continuation of the conversation held between individuals, families, case managers, and providers. During these initial conversations, it was found that the desired lifestyle of the person-served would be able to be achieved through the addition of technology supports.

The Funding for Family and Self-Advocates

To begin assessing which funding options are available,  family and self-advocates should connect with their case manager to determine waiver eligibility.

The Implementation for Family and Self-Advocates

From initial conversations to exploring individual technology support options, the team (providers, families, self advocates, and case managers) has worked diligently and thoughtfully to build a plan that focuses on the needs and wishes of the individual supported—both their safety and security as well as desired lifestyle goals.

Now that the technology supports have been assessed and agreed upon, it is time to physically put the solutions in place and move forward with their utilization.

The Measurement for Family and Self-Advocates

Measuring the success of the technology supports put in place will help families, self-advocates, case managers, and providers determine if the plan is working, if supports should be removed, or if additional supports would help achieve the desired lifestyle goals of the individual.

Measurement should occur often enough that adjustments may be easily made, but not so frequently that the process becomes overwhelming. Within the first year, measurement may occur every three months, and then move to every six months or once a year as the plan is fine-tuned to the individual.