Technology & Innovation

Road to Responsibility Introduces Assistive Technology in ‘Smart House’

Interactive touchpad on refrigerator

Marshfield, MA – Road to Responsibility, a nonprofit organization supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, hosted an open house to unveil its first “smart home” at 449 Prospect St. in Norwell last week.

(l-r) Christopher White, CEO of Road to Responsibility, Faye Murphy, Norwell Group Home Manager, and David DeCoste.

The Road to Responsibility team showed visitors the assistive technology, which has been built in to help promote client independence. Attendees to the open house included John Walker, CEO of Apothecare, Barry Bronstein, a longtime support of RTR, several regional directors from the Department of Developmental Services, State Representative David DeCoste and Legislative Aide Natalie Ellard.

The single-floor home is run primarily through Alexa products, including window blinds, lights, mirrors, appliances, televisions, robot vacuums, doorbell, automatic trash containers, iPads, and thermostat.  Other mechanisms controlled by assistive technology include mattress pads that monitor sleep, pens that read text aloud, a microwave braille overlay and a number of entertainment-related devices. Additionally, interactive buttons throughout the house allow individuals who are non-verbal to activate commands such as “Alexa, show me a healthy recipe” or “Alexa, what is the weather” with a push of the button.

An interactive pad on the refrigerator can do everything from plan a menu to reveal the inside of the refrigerator and identify visitors at the door. This creative and high-tech approach to support residential clients was possible through funding by the Pilgrim Bank Foundation, the HarborOne Foundation and the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism.