Cisco turns the dream of independent living into a reality for people with diverse abilities
From a reminder to close the fridge, to monitoring fluctuations in room temperature, technology is transforming the lives of the users, families, and carers.
A new partnership between Cisco Canada and York Support Services Network, Reena, META, CLASS, and Creating Alternatives is piloting a fresh approach to enabling people with developmental disabilities, live independently.
The Autonomous Living Project (ALP) is funded by an investment from Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration Program, with a vision to build sustainable, secure, and inclusive communities, supported by ethical and scalable technology solutions. The Autonomous Living Project’s platform is built on Cisco Webex and provides easy-to-use, high-quality, and secure integrated video calling. The platform lets you view and track your routines and reminders by setting alerts to manage day-to-day tasks. And you can also access emergency support should you need it. The combination of remote monitoring, smart notifications, alert services, and smart device integration gives people with diverse abilities the in-home support they need to be able to live independently.
Some of the most helpful tools are the simple ones, for example, reminders and routines which make it easy to find a recipe, create a shopping list or cook a meal, so that mealtimes become something to look forward to, rather than a chore. The Autonomous Living Project uses Meraki sensors built into the home to tell you when a door opens or closes, if the tap has been left running or the fridge door left open. The sensors even monitor fluctuations in temperature/humidity and movement in the space, to make sure that you are comfortable and cared for overnight. To know that your environment and needs are being managed so carefully and efficiently is hugely reassuring for someone with diverse abilities.
“We have a significant opportunity to better include, support and empower those living with diverse abilities by leveraging the power of technology,” said Shannon Leininger, President, Cisco Canada. “Technology can be the enabler for better outcomes for all, and the potential is immeasurable for the Autonomous Living Project to scale and build capacity in developmental services delivery while transforming the lives of the users, families and caregivers.”
“The Autonomous Living Project is shifting the landscape of possibilities for those with diverse abilities and their families,” said Bryan Keshen, CEO, Reena. “Our collective efforts to launch this pilot have focused on putting the experience of the user first and foremost. Cisco’s collaboration technology is fully integrated into users’ daily routines, allowing increased self-reliance and a movement to full citizenship and community inclusion. We’re excited to see the potential of this pilot fully realized by offering more people more independence.”
The ALP could potentially change the lives of more than 300,000 adults in Ontario living with some level of intellectual disability, along with their families, carers, and communities. By providing adaptive, personalized, tools that empower individuals to be more independent, the ALP continues to support Cisco’s vision to create a more inclusive future for all.