On June 25, approximately 100 people crowded into the new Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome at 1806 Iris Avenue in Boulder for its Dedication ceremony. The Charles SmartHome is the first home in the nation to incorporate technology to enhance the lives of people with developmental disabilities. The home will also serve as a site for research into the use of technology to benefit the long term needs of individuals with disabilities in both residential and family home settings.
At the Dedication, Imagine!’s Innovations Director Greg Wellems spoke of the vision he had for creating a space where people with disabilities could use technology to increase their independence and self-sufficiency to a degree never thought possible before. He told the story of Gerald, who is one of the Imagine! clients who is moving into the SmartHome. Gerald has cerebral palsy and very limited speech and movement. However, technology has allowed Gerald, at age 47, to learn to read, communicate, navigate his wheelchair around his room, and basically control his own environment to a much greater degree than at any time in the past. Greg topped the story of Gerald with the announcement that Gerald and Donna, another future SmartHome resident, are now planning to get married. The delighted crowd cheered and applauded!
SmartHome Naming Donors Bob and Judy Charles were honored at the event for their generosity and far-sighted investment in Imagine!’s vision. Bob Charles, Founder of the Imagine! Foundation, and Judy were among the earliest supporters of the SmartHome concept and have worked tirelessly alongside Imagine! to turn the vision into reality.
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