Smart home technology means independence for Hoosiers with disabilities

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – For the average Hoosier, smart technology makes life a little more convenient, but for some Hoosiers, it offers something more: independence.

The INDATA Project helped set up smart technology throughout Rachel Johnson’s new apartment. The 56-year-old has cerebral palsy.

For years, she’s lived with her sister, but the technology gives her the chance to live independently in her own space.

Brian Norton from the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads installed Amazon and Apple products in her home, along with smart plugs, smoke detectors and more.

“These devices are starting to communicate with each other and it’s really opened a lot of doors for folks to be able to increase their independence in their homes, at work, in the community, and all over the place,” said Norton.

“We’re all about getting the word out about assisted technology, helping folks understand what it is, how it works, how they can get their hands on it,” he said.

INDATA loans the products so Rachel can figure out what works best for her. Her sister, Georgena Anderson, wants to make sure her sister has everything she needs.

“There’s nothing better than an individual being independent and being able to be on their own,” said Anderson.

“It means the world to me because we all like to be independent,” Anderson said. “We like to have our own choices and we all like to just mature into our own environment and be happy about what we have.”

The work is part of Moving Forward 2020, a program from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. The initiative is focused on affordable housing and technology for Hoosiers with disabilities. You can learn more here.

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