Innovative Technology at Merakey AVS
On Wednesday, May 30, Michael Gamel-McCormick, PhD, the Disability Policy Director for Senator Bob Casey, Jr.’s special committee on aging, visited Merakey AVS to learn more about technology innovation in the IDD sector. Merakey’s Technology and Innovation Manager Shaleea Shields organized a day-long visit in the western region to showcase several premier technology projects. Stops included the Slippery Rock and the Edward J. Zapp Program Centers, and our newly opened smart home.
“Merakey AVS consumers at each of the locations were thrilled to be able to demonstrate their learning and capabilities through technology,” Shaleea commented. “One demonstration, organized by Program Instructor Eric Patterson, included rocket launching activities in the sensory garden with some of the individuals taking photos and video via an iPad. They will share these images and videos using AbleLink software to relay information about their day to their friends and family members.”
During the visit to Zapp, Program Instructor Karen Miller provided Michael with an overview of her initiatives to continually engage the communication technology program participants in exploration of their community through technology. This interest and learning often culminates in community visits.
During the tour at the smart home, staff members hung back while home resident, Vincent led Michael through the residence, pointing out many of its features, and demonstrating his ability to prepare dinner for his housemates.
We are grateful to have Michael spend his day with the Merakey AVS team that included representatives from operations, communications and IT. We look forward to working together to further technology solutions for people with disabilities.