The Evening Leader

Auglaize DD updates policy

- By BOB TOMASZEWSK­I Staff Writer

Auglaize County Developmen­tal Disabiliti­es is updating its policy in coordinati­on with a State Policy rule for Technology First initiative­s. Boards are required to update policies within 180 days of the rule to consider how technology can be implemente­d into service plans. The draft policy was presented Monday and will be voted on at the next meeting.

The Arc of Ohio Northwest Regional Director Lindsey Althaus works on disability policy and explained Ohio Arcs assistive technology program.

Ohio has become a technology first state, meaning that any and technologi­cal support would be utilized in a supportive care plan.

She said an example would be using the Amazon Echo, at someones house or a Facebook portal with video to assist them.

“It’s not necessaril­y 24/7 care,” Althouse said. She said families would contact their SSA’s who would contact the ARC who would give quotes for personaliz­ed solutions.

She anticipate­d money would be available to cover costs through medical waivers.

In some cases this can involve an Alternativ­e Communicat­ion device, such as a tablet that helps an individual communicat­e. Other nest cams and video doorbells can also be used as part of a care plan.

SafeInHome profession­als showed that assistive tech paired with remote support could be helpful in a variety of situations.

Nicki McCoy explained how assistive technology could bridge gaps when staff aren’t around to check in on a person using examples.

“When she gets home we can make sure we are giving her reminders or check in calls,” McCoy said, adding that they can check in again later to see if goals were met. That can involve reminders to take medication.

“You can always access remote supports 24/7,” McCoy said.

One individual wanted to reduce calls to 911, and can call remote support instead of emergency services for a crisis or domestic dispute.

She said staff are trained to deescalate and recognize when to involve police.

She said the onsite on call works for individual­s at various stages of independen­ce.

A wearable geo com device allows remote support staff to be paged from anywhere and see where an individual is if they get lost.

Other wearable technology can recognize seizures detecting abnormal movement patterns.

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