Technology First

In May 2018, Gov. John Kasich signed the Technology First Executive Order, making Ohio the first state in the country to place an emphasis on expanding access to technology for people with developmental disabilities.

Under the executive order, the department will work with county boards of developmental disabilities to ensure technology is considered as part of all service and support plans for people with disabilities. The executive order is not a technology-only policy but aims to help people learn more about how to use technology to improve their quality of life and how they can experience more independence and personal freedom.

Technology that can support a person in accomplishing a task or provide care from a distance is known as supportive technology. Supportive technology includes two services, Assistive Technology and Remote Support.

Assistive technology can support someone who wants more independence, like using a device that can turn off a stove when they are not using it, or a cellphone application that provides step-by-step assistance with recipes.

Remote Support is sometimes called remote monitoring. The service offers a person with a developmental disability the support of a direct service provider even when the provider is not in their home with them. Remote Support uses two-way communication in real time, just like Skype or FaceTime, so that a person can communicate with their providers when they need them. A person with a developmental disability can choose supports like sensors that can call for help if someone has fallen, or cameras that can help monitor who is coming and going from a person's home.

Pictured at right: Ali Rahimi, Medforall; DODD Director John Martin; Patti, technology user; Jason Umstot, Licking County Board superintendent; and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Director Kevin Miller during the Technology First signing.

Supportive Technology Services

Assistive Technology

The upcoming Assistive Technology service rule will allow for easier access to technology by making the purchasing process simpler for all Medicaid waivers. The rule will also ensure a person's provider will have continued access to education for the devices. DODD expects the rule to go into effect in early 2019.

Remote Support
Remote Support is a Medicaid service OAC 5123: 2-9-35. All Medicaid waivers cover the cost and maintenance of equipment used for remote support service delivery.

Virtual Home Walk-Through

The kind of supportive technology each person uses will be different, depending on the kind of support they need. Click through some of the options available in the rooms below.

 Remote support provides services at a distance (Full Screen)

Join DODD on #TechTuesday
Share a photo or video of how you use your technology! Use the hashtag #TechTuesday on social media, and tag @doddohio in your post so we can share. We're also interested in articles about disability and technology. We encourage people who use tech, providers, or businesses to showcase what tech can do.
Instagram Icon.png Watch Kalynn use her iPad to talk about connecting with her long-time friend here. #TechTuesday

Remote Support

​How to Start Using Remote Support

Have a conversation to identify why a person with a developmental disability uses direct care staff and if their health and safety needs can be met remotely.
a1.png Have a team meeting where the person accessing services, their providers, and service and support administrator can talk about which needs might be met remotely, for what hours, and how backup support will be provided.
a1.png If the person chooses remote support, the provider that will act as a backup to those supports will be the one to choose the vendor for the technology and equipment needed. If the backup support is unpaid, natural supports like family or neighbors, the person, or their guardian will choose the vendor.
The service and support administrator works with the team to amend the individual service plan, or ISP, to include detailed protocols for the new remote support.
An ISP that includes remote support should detail backup support contact information and what to do if the person wants to turn off remote support equipment.



See how Brad uses technology for support (Full Screen)

If you need assistance, contact your local county board of developmental disabilities about possible resources. 

Ohio Technology Project

The Ohio Technology Project is a collaborative enterprise between the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and the Ohio State University Nisonger Center. The project aims to take an in-depth look at the role technology, including remote monitoring, plays in the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families, create a vision for how the use of technology may be improved and expanded upon, and identify technological advances that might benefit people with developmental disabilities who desire greater independence.

Click the icon to see more remote support videos (Full Screen))