Fostering independence: WCBDD secures grant to create supportive technology studio


LEBANON, OH-- The Warren County Board of Developmental Disabilities (WCBDD) was awarded a grant to create a studio that will introduce smart technology to the individuals we serve.

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities offers an annual Innovative Technology Solutions grant to entities that aim to address existing gaps, promote the integration of technology, and enhance support options for Ohioans with developmental disabilities.

WCBDD Superintendent Megan Manuel said the board received a $25,000 grant to create a Supportive Technology Studio, a space resembling a modern studio apartment featuring assistive technology to help individuals live independently.

“We very much appreciate the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities awarding the WCBDD this $25,000 grant,” Manuel said. “This will allow us to provide the people we serve the opportunity to experience assistive technology that could help them lead more independent lives safely.”

The Supportive Technology Studio, which is scheduled to be completed this summer, will include:

● An iGuardStove, a safety tool that uses motion sensing to turn off the stove when no one is in the kitchen.

● A combined smart washer and dryer that can pre-measure laundry detergent, be controlled with a smartphone, and send text message reminders when the laundry is ready.

● A medication dispenser to give medication reminders to individuals and their caregivers.

● An Amazon Alexa to perform tasks, give reminders, and help with executive functioning.

● A tablet to facilitate communication.

● Adaptive gaming equipment to allow individuals with physical disabilities to play video games.

Kellie Hampton, WCBDD Remote Supports and Assistive Technology Coordinator, said the Supportive Technology Studio will give individuals hands-on experience with technology to, “explore what’s possible.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the technology’s functionality, the potential benefits, and its role in fostering independence.

For individuals who cannot visit the studio, WCBDD plans to create “Go-Bags,” that will contain portable assistive technology so that individuals can trial the technology at home.

The Supportive Technology Studio will also offer individuals a chance to practice using assistive technology and gain independence prior to using it in their own homes. With the use of simulated remote supports, teams will be able to observe and gradually fade in-person assistance with the use of assistive technology in the studio. Hampton looks forward to supporting all individuals served by WCBDD in exploring, identifying, and obtaining assistive technology solutions tailored to meet their needs.

With a shortage of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), Hampton stressed the significance of exploring assistive technology and remote supports options as alternatives to increase a person’s autonomy, independence and quality of life.

About Hampton

As the Remote Supports and Assistive Technology Coordinator, Hampton explores technological solutions that promote independence and enhance the quality of life for those we serve.

Before working at WCBDD, Hampton earned a degree in Special Education from The Ohio State University and spent 12 years as an Intervention Specialist, where she worked extensively with assistive technology.

Hampton received a firsthand introduction to disability services when her daughter received support through the Help Me Grow program.

For more information about the Innovative Technology Solutions grant, remote supports, or assistive technology, contact Kellie Hampton at or (513) 256-3246.

More News from Lebanon
I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified