NDIS Assistive Technology for the Hearing Impaired

Technology is transforming the lives of individuals with disabilities, enabling greater independence. The term applied to this field is assistive technology and it includes devices, tools or systems that help people with disabilities do tasks and improve their abilities. It encompasses motorised tools like wheelchairs and stairlifts, all the way to the simple tools such as modified kitchen utensils. Smart home devices like digital door locks, video camera doorbells and smart lighting fit within the definition of assistive technology, as tech based tools that make the lives of those with disabilities manageable. 

Through the viewpoint of Sam, living with a hearing impairment since birth, we’ll explore how these smart home technologies can ease daily routines and improve quality of life for the NDIS participant. Like many other NDIS participants, Sam wants to live independently at home and thanks to the advances in assistive technology, Sam and others like him can do exactly that.

It’s through experience, working with NDIS participants and their carers, that we have been able to understand the immediate impact these smart home devices has on lives. We’ve seen them bring peace of mind and a feeling of confidence to the individual with a disability. Drawing upon this experience, we’ll explore the specific smart home devices that are transforming lives every day.

First some helpful resources:

  • For the official definition of assistive technology according to the Australian Government, refer to the NDIS website at this page Assistive Technology Guideline.
  • Check out the thorough information and caring support provided by Hearing Australia

 

How a digital door lock is a game changer for the hearing impaired

A smart digital door lock will make Sam’s home more secure and easier to access. Traditional locks can be challenging for those with a hearing impairment, especially when relying on sound cues like the click of a lock. With a smart lock, Sam can unlock the door using a smartphone, smart watch, a fingerprint or entering a code on the keypad. He also has control of the lock remotely, so while he’s away from home, he can be confident the house is safe and secure. Access can also be granted to trusted visitors or caregivers, making it convenient for them to enter when it suits Sam’s schedule.

opening a digital door lock with a smart watch

A video doorbell enhances safety and convenience for the hearing impaired

Living independently means feeling safe and secure at all times. A smart video camera doorbell is a small device with huge safety benefits. For someone not able to clearly hear when a visitor arrives, a device that alerts them with a visual or vibration notification is extremely helpful. The Smart Video Doorbell can even be automated with smart lights to illuminate when someone is at the door. It allows Sam to easily verify visitors without having to approach the door. Due to the doorbell’s motion detection feature, the arrival of a person at the front door sends an alert to his smartphone. He simply checks to see who it is, making sure it is someone recognisable and safe. The smart doorbell models we install have an additional feature known as Quick Response. This feature allows users to quickly respond to visitors who ring the doorbell with a pre-recorded audio message. Three different responses can be set up to cover a variety of scenarios. For example, Sam who has a speech impairment, can use this Quick Response feature to communicate with the delivery personnel to leave the package in a safe place at the door. Anyone can record this message for Sam if it’s a challenge for him to do so. This is a nice to have feature but it’s really the main purpose of the smart doorbell, empowering Sam to self-manage his home’s entry points, that gives him the confidence to live independently.
Security can be extended to others within his circle. Anyone he trusts can download the smart doorbell app, facilitating notifications also be sent to their smartphones simultaneously. Now everyone feels equally at peace.

video camera doorbell installed by smarter homes australia in brisbane

Smart lighting is convenient and cost effective 

Installing smart lighting in a home where the occupant is deaf or hearing impaired has many benefits. With a smart lighting system, Sam can manage his environment from a single point of contact, making it more convenient and cost-effective. From the smart lighting app, he’s able to switch lights on and off and adjust lighting levels, throughout the home with a simple click. Another benefit offering enhanced safety is the motion-activation feature. Set it up to light the path or traffic area exactly the time it’s needed and take advantage of the cost savings delivered when the lights aren’t required. Smart lights can also be programmed to switch on when the natural light dims at dusk and switch off automatically when Sam goes to bed.

Just another example of assistive technology making homes more accessible, convenient and safe for the NDIS participant. 

How smart garage and gate openers simplify entry for the hearing impaired

The front gate and garage are the primary entry points for most homes, making their security crucial for everyone. However, for the hearing impaired who cannot rely on their hearing for safety, it’s essential to find technological ways to assist. For Sam a smart garage door and a front gate opener gives him the confidence that he’s in control of his wider home surroundings. By removing the classic remote, fob or opener, Sam knows only those with the app have access to his home. And just like a smart door lock, access can be granted to approved persons, such as caregivers, family, and friends. The act of opening and closing is logged, allowing Sam to know who entered his premises and when.

One of the favourite features of these smart devices is the ability to check the status of the garage or gate remotely. If Sam is unsure whether he locked the garage or gate, he can instantly check through the app. This peace of mind significantly boosts his confidence in living independently at home.

Smart aircon for comfort made simple

Homes in Brisbane, and throughout South East Queensland in fact, are often cold due to their design, which prioritises capturing breezes and staying cool during summer rather than keeping out the winter chill. To overcome this, it’s common for houses to install air conditioning systems that offer both cooling and heating features. Running these systems can be expensive, but with the use of smart technology, costs can be significantly reduced. We have two options available for your consideration.

If there is already a split aircon system in place, we can easily and efficiently upgrade it into a smart air conditioner. This upgrade offers all the modern conveniences of a smart air conditioner without the high cost. 

If you have nothing, we can supply and install a premium, smart aircon to allow full app and WiFi access. Whether you have one or many, connect them to a system and operate them conveniently from a single app.

 

smart aircon installed in a home in brisbane by smarter homes australia

Smart home assistant to manage daily tasks 

Smart home devices deliver convenience and security as individual devices but when integrated with a smart home assistant it can be truly transformational for someone in Sam’s position, navigating his home without hearing. It’s like having a personal assistant at home, handling various tasks and making life easier, especially when it comes to being secure and staying alert to visitors at the door. Now all these tasks are outsourced to technology, which is empowering and confidence building to the NDIS participant. Sam can lock the front door, open the front gate, adjust the thermostat and switch off all the lights from a single point of contact, an app on his smart home assistant device.

Assistive Technology helping Sam with daily tasks

By walking through a day in the life of an NDIS participant, in this case, we have Sam, we can understand the practical assistance smart home devices provide.

6:30 AM
When hearing is an issue, the traditional alarm isn’t going to be of assistance to help with waking at a particular time. Sam uses an alternative method; his smart lighting in the bedroom turns on at a specific time of the morning. He’s also programmed his smart thermostat to activate when the temperature drops below an uncomfortable point. 

7:00 AM
Sam starts his day with morning exercise outdoors. He leaves the house, walking through the front gate, and checks they are locked upon exit. When he gets back home, he opens the front gate and front door easily with the app. Or he could have just as easily opened the front door with his fingerprint.  

9:00 AM
Sam has a work meeting at a client’s office. He opens the garage door, backs out, and closes the door all using the app on his smartphone. When he arrives at his destination, he checks the app to make sure the garage and front door are securely locked.

12:00 PM
Sam drives home, opens the garage door with the app and securely enters his house. No keys or remotes required, however the existing can still work for other family members if that is their preference.

2:00 PM
Sam spends the afternoon working at home. To create a pleasant work environment he adjusts the lighting to be less artificially bright.

3:30 PM
Sam’s carer is due for a routine visit. When his carer arrives at the front gate, Sam’s smartwatch vibrates, alerting him to the carer’s arrival and rings the Video Doorbell. Once the video doorbell rings, the smart light in Sam’s office turns red alerting him that someone is there. Without needing to move from his office, Sam opens the front gate and uses his video doorbell, informing the carer that the front door is unlocked and it’s okay to enter.

5:30 PM
As the light dims, the smart lighting is activated in the rooms specified by Sam. The temperature has also cooled, as night approaches. The smart thermostat kicks into action automatically, heating the living room and bedroom to a comfortable temperature.  

9:30 PM
Before heading off to bed, Sam uses the app to turn off the lights in the living room and turn on the lights in the bedroom and bathroom. He checks all the doors are locked, and the garage is closed simply by looking at their status on the app. No need to physically check them himself. His last action of the day is to turn off his bedroom light without needing to hit the switch. All done from his app on the smartphone. 

This is assistive technology working hard to help the NDIS participant live comfortably, independently and securely.

How Smarter Homes Australia empowers NDIS participants be independent 

It’s with pleasure our team can provide the opportunity for NDIS participants to live an independent and secure life at home. We look forward to extending these benefits to the hearing impaired, which could be you or the person under your care. 

Like to learn more about the best assistive technology solutions for your home, take advantage of our free quote offer. We’ll come to the home, evaluate the situation, and provide you with a personalised plan for your consideration. Please contact us and schedule your free quote or installation today.

smarter homes australia installation team in brisbane

Assistive Technology for NDIS Participants FAQs

  • Which NDIS participants have you worked with previously?

Our team has worked extensively with a vast range of participants over the years we’ve been in business. We’re confident that our service offering is able to support all of our NDIS clients making their lives safer and more comfortable and convenient. 

Refer to our specific guide to NDIS participants for more information.

  • How do I know what Assistive Technology is funded through NDIS?

As a starting point, check out the NDIS website information provided at this address – What assistive technology do we fund? Or ask your Plan Manager, Support Worker or Occupational Therapist who should have the experience to answer your specific questions. At Smarter Homes Australia we currently support all NDIS participants that are plan and self managed with their funding, however we cannot provide the approval that is required from your support team.

  • What are the next steps and how do I arrange a quote?

After taking a look at the services we offer, simply fill out the contact form on our website and let us know what you’re interested in. From there our team can provide you with an in-person or online quote to discuss further with your support team.

Make your home safer & smarter.

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Send us the enquiry form and a Smarter Homes Australia Pro will respond within 24 hours. Or email us at admin@smarterhomesaustralia.com.au

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