Monday, February 28, 2011

Saving Energy = Saving Money

Our SmartHomes use technology in a variety of ways, including ways to make our operations more cost efficient.

Here’s a recent example. A system was set up at the homes directing that after 20 minutes with no motion in a room, lights and whatever else is plugged into the low-voltage bedroom outlets will automatically power down – saving energy and money.

To see more examples of green technologies used in the SmartHomes to make them more cost efficient, click here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Phase II Moving Forward!

Phase II of our SmartHomes project continues to gain steam as we are reaching out to potential partners for studying the impact of technology on the lives of our SmartHome residents, with a goal of refining those technologies so they can be applied in a variety of settings and encourage independence and community inclusion.

As part of that goal, members of the SmartHome team will be discussing potential opportunities for collaboration today with Kathy Laurin, PhD, from The University of Montana Rural Institute Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research, and Service.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Toby Moves In!

We mentioned yesterday that Toby was moving into the Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont. Here’s some pics as Toby entered his home for the very first time!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Welcome Home, Toby!

It took a little while and involved a change in residents, but the final resident of the Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont is moving in today.

Toby is from Boulder, Colorado. He has an extensive network of family and friends, and enjoys watching sports on TV. Toby, although nonverbal, has the ability to communicate with his Dynavox communication device, and can answer yes or no questions. He can be seen smiling almost all of the time, and his brilliant blue eyes light up a room. Toby attends classes through Imagine!’s CORE/Labor Source department and he enjoys socializing with friends and time with his family.

Welcome home, Toby!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Task Prompters In Action

The task prompter library at the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome continues to grow. This touch screen system provides residents more independence by providing simple prompts on how to cook meals on their own. There are enough recipes in the system now that the staff is scheduling cooking classes for all the residents!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

SmartHomes and the Future of DD Services In Colorado

SmartHomes tech guru Alex Andrews and PR guy Fred Hobbs gave a presentation today to a CU Engineering class on the history of services for people with developmental disabilities, and why the SmartHomes represent the future of services. Preview their slideshow below – it has a lot of good information!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Celebration Dinner Supports SmartHomes

On Friday, January 28, 415 people gathered at the Plaza Hotel Longmont for the 10th Annual Imagine! Celebration Dinner and Auction. The event was a resounding success, raising more than $217,000 to support Imagine!’s mission of providing supports and services to some of Boulder and Broomfield counties’ most vulnerable citizens. The event also raised significant funds for our SmartHomes project.

The evening began with a silent auction featuring 221 items donated by generous local businesses and individuals.

Following a delicious dinner and the end of bidding on silent auction items, the program for the evening began. Emcee, Foundation board member, and longtime friend of Imagine! George Karakehian once again was the glue that held the program together, moving from highlight to highlight with ease and with great humor. And the highlights were many!

The program started off with a bang by honoring the 10th Anniversary of the Imagine! Foundation, Imagine!’s fundraising arm and the organization responsible for putting on the annual celebration. In its 10 years of existence, the Foundation has raised more than $4,000,000 to serve local individuals with developmental disabilities.

Check out this video marking the Imagine! Foundation’s 10 years of supporting Imagine!’s mission.

After honoring the Imagine! Foundation’s success, George introduced the crowd (the largest ever to attend the event) to Dawn Marie Candelaria-Bisgard, Imagine!’s 2010 Consumer of the Year. Dawn’s story is one of perseverance and hard work, as she struggled to overcome not only the barriers presented by her disability, but also barriers she placed upon herself through poor choices. In recent years she has really put forth a tremendous effort to turn her life around and become the outstanding young lady she is today. Now Dawn stands as a role model for all of those served at Imagine!, all of those who work at Imagine!, and indeed, the community at large.

The presentation of the Consumer of the Year is always the emotional high point of the annual festivities, and this year proved no exception. A standing ovation greeted Dawn after she gave her heartfelt acceptance speech upon receiving her award.

Enjoy this video about Imagine!’s 2010 Consumer of the Year, Dawn Marie Candelaria-Bisgard.

Once the program portion of the evening was completed, attendees took part in a spirited (and quite successful) live auction. Auctioneer Gary Corbett deftly enticed the crowd to bid higher and higher dollar amounts on 13 auction items including a trip to Greece, an elk hunt, a fly-fishing expedition, and an African photo safari.

Corbett also expertly led final event of the evening, a Special Appeal where funds were directed to Imagine!’s SmartHomes project.

Here’s a video about Imagine!’s SmartHomes, which ran before the Special Appeal began.

Many thanks to the generous community members who came out in huge numbers to support Imagine!, including current and former members of Imagine!’s Board of Directors, current and former members of the Imagine! Foundation Board of Directors, business leaders, consumers, family members, and so many others interested in supporting the work of Imagine!.

Special thanks to the 20 Imagine! staff members who volunteered their time during the event, to the Imagine! Celebration Committee (see below) for all of their efforts before and during the event, and to all of the event sponsors who are listed here:

Imagine! Celebration Committee

Colene Van Winkle, Chairperson
Paige Lawrence, Chairperson
Denice Chenault
Lisa Fiero
Deea Frisbie
Deb Gravelle
Evelyn Josephsohn
Cherlina King
Michelle O’Brien
Pat O’Brien
Stacey Pierson
Sara Stoecker
Don Sullivan

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Gerald!

Wishing the happiest of birthdays today to Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome resident Gerald.

Make it a great one, G!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Congratulations Dr. Braddock!

Dr. David Braddock, Ph.D., was recently named a 2011 recipient of the University of Colorado's Thomas Jefferson award, one of the university's highest honors. Dr. Braddock is Executive Director of CU's Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, and has been a longtime supporter of Imagine! and our SmartHomes project. Learn more about Dr. Braddock and this prestigious honor by clicking here.

That’s Dr. Braddock in the picture to the right, along with his wife Laura, at the recent Imagine! Celebration Dinner and Auction.

Congratulations Dr. Braddock, and thank you for all you do for individuals with developmental disabilities locally and across the nation!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy 10th Anniversary, Imagine! Foundation

The Imagine! Foundation has been instrumental in the success of Imagine!’s SmartHomes. Their continued fundraising efforts have helped to pay for the construction of both of our SmartHomes. This year the Foundation is celebrating 10 years of success. Check out the video below to learn more.

Many thanks to the Imagine! Foundation for all they have done for the SmartHomes!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Study Results

We’ve told you about Colorado WIN Partners and their year-long study to see how technology was improving the lives of the residents of the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome. The results were very promising. Check out the slideshow below to see more (thanks to WIN Partners for letting us share this).

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Task Prompters Help With Everyday Activities

Our SmartHomes use touch screen task prompters that provide residents with the opportunity to engage in more activities of daily life, such as cooking, independently. Here’s a nice picture of Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome resident Lana helping to prepare a meal to enjoy with her housemates.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Members of the SmartHome team have been traveling across the state and the country giving presentations about Imagine!’s SmartHomes project to audiences at a wide variety of conferences and events. The desire of so many organizations to learn about this project serves as another reminder of how Imagine!'s SmartHomes continue to be recognized nationally as an innovative way to improve the efficiency and quality of services in the developmental disability field.

Here’s a couple of examples:

On March 17, SmartHomes guru Greg Wellems and Imagine! PR guy Fred Hobbs are scheduled to present on SmartHomes, SmartSupports, and Social Media at the Pennsylvania Community Providers Association 2011 Technology Conference in March.

And on March 18, SmartHome project manager Sterling Wind will be presenting on our SmartHomes and SmartSupports at BRAIN of Boulder County’s “Brainstorm 2011,” sponsored by the Colorado Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Trust Fund. This is a good example of how our technologies can be applied to individuals outside of the DD world who have similar service needs.