Did you know the Redwood Assistive Technology Resource Center is one of only five regional assistive technology resource centers across the state of Kentucky? As a member of the Kentucky Assistive Technology Services Network (KATS), Redwood contributes to statewide initiatives and provides assistive technology training, demonstration, lending library and reutilization services in addition to awareness activities.
One of these initiatives, My New Kentucky Smart Home, is funded by a grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. The initiative provides a 90-day loan of smart home equipment to Kentuckians with paralyzing conditions. This gives them the opportunity to try the technology and see if the devices work for them and their lifestyle before they commit to buying.
Redwood recently partnered with KATS to provide smart home technology to longtime Redwood client Katherine Baker. Katherine was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, an extremely rare neurological disorder that affects girls. For Katherine, this diagnosis means mobility issues.
As the first person in Kentucky to trial smart home technology through the My New Kentucky Smart Home grant, Redwood worked with Katherine’s family to select and distribute the items for them to try. Kathrine received two Echo Dots, four smart plugs, a tower fan, griddle and coffee maker, sesame smart lock, Ring video doorbell, and smart lightbulbs. While the family is responsible for setting up the items, Redwood team members were available to help troubleshoot any issues.
“Technology really helps lead to independence,” said Donna Bloemer, Katherine’s mom. “Redwood has been instrumental in helping Kat and this is just another example of them going above and beyond. I was really excited to be selected, and I think Kat is really fortunate to have received these smart home items to try.”
Redwood has been helping the family navigate interfacing the smart home equipment with communication devices and hopes to see more success in the future.
“Redwood has really adapted with technology and implemented it when they can to help their clients,” Bloemer said. “Redwood using technology to help individuals reach their full potential is incredible and I think this program will have a lasting impact.”
This is an ongoing program with which KATS hopes to reach several hundred individuals that could benefit from the technology. If you or someone you know is interested in trying smart home technology to assist with mobility issues or paralysis, please contact Julie Roell at email@example.com.