Most people involved in services for people with disabilities recognize a support paradigm shift is needed. Current and future workforce and financial realities require us to look for new options and innovation.
Somehow we need to find ways to support more people with less staffing intense services. The use of technology to provide remote supports not only helps achieve this but when we minimize the physical presence of DSPs, many individuals gain the independence to try and do more for themselves. That develops new skills and confidence, with technology and remote (but available) DSP assistance providing a safety and security net.
What is remote supervision?
Remote supervision and support involves the use of various types of technology to provide DSPs critical information about what is happening with and around individuals, without the DSP needing to be in the room or in the building. If/when direct assistance is needed the DSP is informed and goes to the person, but allows individuals their independence and privacy until then.
Four top uses of remote supervision
- Alternative Overnight Supervision – Converting paid sleep staff, available ‘just in case’ a person needs something, to remote supervision with a DSP nearby and available to respond if/when needed.
- Employment and Activity Flexibility – Remotely supervise one or two people at home while others are at work or on activities, allowing individuals freedom to accept evening and weekend work and broader choice in activity participation.
- Health, Safety and Efficiency – Instead of staff doing hourly bed checks to see if someone has fallen, wandered, needs assistance to the bathroom, etc. technology can notify staff when someone’s out of bed, out of room or incontinence detected, remind staff of medications or re-position needs, and individuals can notify staff when they need/want assistance with just a slight movement.
- Lifestyle and Own Home – People needing 24-hour availability of supervision/support move from group living to their own apartments with technology to provide reminders on medications or leaving for work on time, and keeping remote, but available 24/7 DSPs informed of activity and possible assistance needs.
ARRM Technology Conference
There are many stories of individuals and agencies who have used these innovations, increasing self-determination and community integration. The ARRM Technology Conference & Showcase on November 15 is an event designed to show people in the disability services industry how technology is being used to promote independence and efficiency. Breakout sessions include individual and provider stories, plus sessions on ‘how to’ aspects of alternative overnight supervision, using technology for complex medical and behavioral needs, current DHS policy, funding, use of data and more. Whether you are an administrator, program director, DSP, Lead Agency or DHS employee, contract case manager or a parent or advocate, there will be something for you. Register before November 1 for an early bird rate.
-- Sandy Henry, ARRM Technology Sub-Committee Chair