Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Congratulations, Michelle!

Congratulations are in order for Michelle Steele being selected as the January 2015 recipient of the Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award. Here’s why she was honored, as reported by one of her co-workers:

“Michelle used her day off work to bring Donna and Gerald, who live in Imagine!’s Santa Fe Group Home in Broomfield, to the Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont so that they could watch the Broncos game with Toby for his birthday. Toby was just so happy that they could be there and that they could share their love of football together on his birthday. Michelle deserves an award for going above and beyond to try and help one of our consumers have one of the best birthdays ever.”

Great work, Michelle, and congratulations on this well-deserved honor!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Technology Tuesday

Imagine! doesn’t only embrace technologies that offer opportunities for greater self-reliance among the individuals we serve. We also explore the use of technologies that can make us more effective as an organization, and that will save us time and money.

One example of how we have explored technology to improve our efficiency as an organization is through our use of FleetCommander. FleetCommander is a web-based fleet and motor pool software tool. Imagine! has a large fleet of vehicles, and this software has greatly improved our ability to manage that fleet.

FleetCommander helps Imagine! maintain electronic preventive and repair maintenance records in one spot, which can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection; allows Imagine! to tailor maintenance data and reports to show repair trending among like vehicles, or age of vehicle, or mileage or other desired criterion; and Imagine! can use mileage as a guide to set repair schedules at the appropriate time. This permits required work to be performed at the optimum time so warranty requirements are met. It also extends the life of the vehicle components by tracking when maintenance and repairs should occur.


Through FleetCommander, Imagine! can monitor accident records in one accessible location that permits simple, accurate updating. This allows easy data extraction for use by company personnel or claims. FleetCommander integrates with US Bank Voyager system so monthly fuel records are easily downloaded. Miles per gallon can be computed instantly for any vehicle or combination of vehicles to measure against factory specs. This allows for research of significant mpg differences to be explored and corrective actions to be taken as needed.


FleetCommander system data is capable of monitoring variances of parts and/or labor costs so that the most economical resources are used, and system data can be organized so that trends of parts replacements can be tracked – such as tires, brakes, shocks/struts, etc. Reports can be created that are supportive of efforts for fleet obsolescence and upgrading plans.


Finally, the FleetCommander system allows for vehicles to be grouped/assigned to departments or individuals so that cost allocation is simple and accurate.



Monday, December 29, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Technology Tuesday

This week’s Technology Tuesday comes to you from Suzanne Phillips, Communication Teacher at Imagine!’s Longmont CORE/Labor Source (CLS) hub. Today, Suzanne talks about AbleNet’s Sounding Board app, and how she and others are using it to open doors to new communication opportunities. 

Now that Longmont’s new iPads are up and running, it’s been great to see how staff and teachers are using them to improve client’s daily lives at CORE/Labor Source. Longmont’s first iPad specific class has begun, clients check them out during lunch to play educational games, and many have learned to access the iBooks library. Everyone enjoys using the iPads, but some staff members have really gone above and beyond to use these devices to their full potential. Alexa Weitzeil is one such staff member. She is our primary Sensory teacher, and she works with many adults who are non-verbal and have trouble communicating wants, needs, and preferences. When the iPads arrived, she was immediately interested in the communication-based adaptive technology apps. She quickly learned to use AbleNet’s Sounding Board app, which essentially turns an iPad into a customizable communication device. Using Sounding Board, you can create communication boards of up to nine messages per screen, use symbols (or your own photos) for visual content, and record messages that will play when a picture or symbol is pressed. Alexa has already had great success with this app! Here’s a bit of her success shared in her own words (names changed to protect privacy):

Hey everyone! 

I just wanted to share some exciting news about our friend “Jane.” 

I have been working with her the past few days on using the Sounding Board app on the iPads to help her communicate, and she has responded extremely well! I created a single-button board on the app so that when she touches the screen, it says, "I would like some attention please." For the past two days, Jane has independently touched the screen multiple times to get staff attention instead of hitting herself. YAY! After getting staff attention, Jane would use the yes/no buttons on a different board to tell staff if she needed to use the restroom or not. 

While there is still some work to do, Jane has done a wonderful job using the app instead of hitting herself to get staff attention thus far. Other staff members are using the app as well when working with Jane to help her continue to improve her communication. I love seeing the progress she's making! Thanks for reading and sharing in the excitement! 

I love to see teachers like Alexa promoting this kind of self-reliance, and creating such successful teachable moments! I know that this is just the beginning, and we will continue to work as a team to build on this success. I look forward to sharing more stories with you soon – stay tuned!

Happy Birthday, Loren!

Wishing the happiest of birthdays today to Loren, who lives in the Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont. Make it a great one, Loren!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Thank You, 1stBank Center

Last week we showed you some pictures of residents of the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome attending the “So You Think You Can Dance?” 2014 Dance Tour at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield.

We neglected to mention that the 1StBank Center donated a suite at their venue so the residents could attend this fantastic event. So we’d like to share a few more photos from the sutie and a great big “THANK YOU” to the 1stBank Center for making this magical evening a reality!



Friday, December 19, 2014

New Tour Dates For Charles Family SmartHome

Starting in January, we will have new dates for available tours of the Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont. Tours of that home will now be hosted the 3rd Monday of each month at 10:00 a.m. Why not make a New Year’s resolution to take a tour and see first-hand how technology is changing the way services are delivered to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities?

Schedule your tour today

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Vote For Your Favorite Gingerbread Train

Imagine!’s Innovations department, which includes our SmartHomes, is engaging in a “Gingerbread Train Contest” between two teams of Imagine! employees. The two trains are in the photos, and we’d love for you to vote to help us determine a winner. Please let us know your favorite in the comments below.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

So You Think You Can Dance?

These pics and post come from Shannon Bundy, site supervisor at the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome in Boulder.

“Last night, Lana, John, and Mandy went with staff members to go see the “So You Think You Can Dance?” 2014 Dance Tour at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield. It was so awesome to see how much they all enjoyed this outing! John was dancing and laughing and cheering for the dancers. I have never seen Lana smile so big. And even though Mandy was not feeling very well, she enjoyed it and wanted to stay till the end. John says his favorite dancer was the ballerina.” 




Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Technology Tuesday

A group of University of Colorado Engineering students in a 2014 Fall Semester class taught by Associate Professor Melinda Piket-May spent the semester working on projects to design simple adaptive technologies that aid increased independence for some of the individuals Imagine! serves. Below are some videos of the students demonstrating their projects. The videos are short and well worth your time – this is some amazing stuff.

Resonating Head Band 

This device can act as a cost effective hearing aid (even works underwater!) or just as a fun way to listen to music.

  Can’t see video? Click here.

Ultimate Music Experience

This project allows an individual served by Imagine! who has a hearing disability to “hear” music through vibrations in water.

  Can’t see video? Click here

Smart Shower

Created to allow an individual served by Imagine! to shower independently through verbal prompts on an mp3.

  Can’t see the video? Click here.

Wheelchair Arm Support

Built for Gerald, who lives in Imagine!’s Santa Fe Group Home in Broomfield.

Can’t see the video? Click here

Monday, December 15, 2014

SmartHome Fiesta!

The residents of the Longmont Charles Family SmartHome were treated to a fiesta this week and enjoyed every bite of it! A big thank you to the staff members who made this outing possible.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Happy Birthday, Lana!



We’d like to wish a very happy birthday to Lana who lives at Imagine!’s Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome. Cheers to you Lana!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Technology Tuesday

Today’s Technology Tuesday comes from Imagine!’s Assistive Technology Lab facilitator Stephanie Tilley. Stephanie is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist who has worked for Imagine! for more than 10 years, and is the author of “101 Adapted Games for Kids,” which provides adaptations for children’s activities to create inclusive activities and environments. In the piece below, Stephanie talks about an iPad program called Osmo


This week I’d like to highlight a program that we use on the iPad called Osmo. Osmo is an accessory that is added to the iPad which consists of a reflector that snaps over the camera of the iPad and a stand. The Osmo also comes with three activities: Tangrams, Words, and Newton. The tangible pieces to the activities are included in the Osmo and the apps are free from the app store. The incredible thing about this program is that the reflector incorporated the surface in front of the iPad right onto the screen. The Tangrams activity comes with tangible puzzle pieces that participants use to match the picture on the screen.

The program allows the iPad to recognize when the pieces are arranged correctly to match the picture on the screen. There are different levels of difficulty and more puzzles unlock the more that the activity is played.

For the Newton program it’s often helpful to have a few sheets of plain white paper and a pencil, pen, or marker available. Participants draw on the paper to create lines or shapes for the balls that are dropping from the top of the iPad screen to bounce off of. The object is to get the balls to hit targets on the screen. Besides drawing, other objects can be placed on the surface in front of the iPad and their outlines are incorporated into the activity as well. Often during class we use the tangram pieces and participants move them to different spots on the playing surface to make the balls bounce in different directions to hit the targets.

When using the words program, participants have the guess the words associated with the pictures on the screen. Participants then spell the words using tangible letter pieces that are included in the game, on the surface in front of the iPad. This activity can be played individually, with a group, or vs. another person. This activity has been used often during class as it encourages participants to work together to guess and spell the words. During one activity in particular, one participant had challenges with seeing the pieces, but was skilled at spelling, while the other participant had some challenges with spelling, but could easily identify the different letters. These two participants worked for a large portion of the class time working together and working on so many skills at the same time.

While using this program, participants not only work on skills such as spelling and shapes, but they work on social skills, fine motor skills, turn taking, problem solving, and thinking skills. This program has been such a wonderful addition to the Assistive Technology Computer lab Imagine!’s CORE/Labor Source department! You can find out more about the Osmo and check out a video of the program in use at https://www.playosmo.com/

Today Is Colorado Gives Day!


Today is the Fifth Annual Colorado Gives Day -- a great day to "give where you live." Each nonprofit receiving a donation on this day receives a portion of an Incentive Fund. This year, the Incentive Fund has more than tripled to $1 million! This means that Imagine! will receive a portion of this fund for every donation we receive, and will increase the impact of your generosity. Your gift will have a far-reaching impact on the clients we serve, and their families.

Click on this link to donate now, and write “SmartHomes” in the comments to support this vital project, as well as ensure that Imagine! receives a share of the $1 million Incentive Fund.

Help us reach $20,000 today -- you'll support people of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Boulder and Broomfield counties.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mandy's New Book

Our friend Mandy, who lives in the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome in Boulder, has published another book! This one is called “Mandy’s Magical Christmas Story.” Learn more, including how to purchase the book and support this talented author, by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Technology Tuesday

Today’s Technology Tuesday comes from Chris Baumgart, Imagine!’s Assistive Technology Specialist. Chris provides us the latest edition of a little segment he likes to call “Chris’s Corner.” Thanks, Chris!

Chris’s Corner 
"Down on the corner…Out in the Street…" 

It’s Tuesday once again, and it’s time for another Chris’s Corner. This installment of The Corner comes to you from the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome in Boulder, where John and Karen are both following in the illustrious footsteps of their roommate Lana. Recently, Lana achieved her goal of becoming self-reliant in the administration of her medications using a new computer-based medication task minder developed by Imagine! staff members called MedMinder.

If you haven’t seen it already, here’s a video of Lana using her computer to prompt her through filling a week’s worth of medications.

  Can’t see the video? Click here.

Inspired by Lana’s success, John and Karen are now using the same tools so that they too will be self-reliant in their own medication administration.



They’ve already shredded through the tests designed to determine how well they know their medications (which medications are taken, when they’re taken, how much is taken, what each medication is designed to do, etc.), and now the next challenge: actually filling a MedMinder box with test medications. Keep up the good work, you two! We’ll be checking back in to see your progress!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Birthday, John!

Wishing the happiest of birthdays today to Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome resident John. Make it a great one, John!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

John, Chris, and the rest of Imagine!'s SmartHomes residents and staff members wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanks Wibby Brewing For Taking A Tour

Last Friday, Ted Risk, Ryan Wibby, and Martha Bartels took a tour of Imagine!’s Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont. The trio is from Wibby Brewing, one of Longmont’s newest microbreweries. We greatly appreciate their interest in our SmartHomes and their community. Here’s a picture from the tour, taken by SmartHomes Ambassador Extraordinaire Leona Stoecker.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Technology Teusday

This week’s Technology Tuesday comes to you from Suzanne Phillips, a Communication Teacher at Imagine!’s Longmont CORE/Labor Source hub. It is a touching story about finding just the right incentive to get an individual engaged and interested in taking the first steps toward independence and the first step towards learning. In this case, the incentive was a song by the Carpenters, appropriately titled “We’ve Only Just Begun.”

We’ve had an exciting new breakthrough in Longmont’s CORE/Labor Source “Cause and Effect” class! This class, as I’ve written about before, teaches cause-and-effect/computer skills to non-verbal adults with limited mobility. Three out of four of my students have been moving forward at a rapid pace. They have been learning to turn on lights, using the new iPads, and pressing switches to play games and turn on movie clips. However, I have one student that had not been interested in any of our computer games or sensory items. I was starting to worry that “Sam” (not his real name) would not get much from of my class, something that no teacher wants to accept!

Then we had our breakthrough. Sam’s provider told me that, while watching a movie, Sam had suddenly started dancing while a Carpenters song played. I got to work immediately, setting up a new activity for him to use during Cause and Effect class. I attached speakers to an iPad, then attached the iPad and a switch to a PowerLink. The iPad was set up to play a Carpenters Pandora station. I sat down to teach Sam how to turn on his own music, wondering if this would engage him when nothing else had.

I explained to him what I was working on, but he did not make eye contact or seem interested in the new setup. I then demonstrated how to press the switch to turn on his music. “We’ve Only Just Begun” by The Carpenters began to play, and Sam froze. He turned slowly towards me, listening intently, then lifted one hand and started moving it slowly through the air. I couldn’t believe what happened next - this quiet and reserved guy started laughing, clapping and dancing by moving his shoulders, arms and hands. He loved it!

I stopped pressing the switch and the music turned off, he froze again and looked at me. I started the process of teaching him how to turn the music on by pressing the switch. I realized that direct access (he has to be holding down the switch to hear the music) didn’t work as well because he needed his hands for dancing! I set up the PowerLink to play 30-40 second clips of a song, long enough for him to enjoy his music and with a sudden enough stop to get him interested in pressing the switch to turn his music back on.

The first week I taught Sam the basic concepts, and by the second week he pressed the switch independently almost 20 times. I wish I could describe to you the difference I have seen in this guy. When I see him now he grins and claps his hands, he is progressing in class and I know that we have a foundation that we can build on. It is very exciting and I can’t wait to see what skills he will master next.

Thank you for reading this week’s Tech Tuesday, I will be back with more updates soon!

Can’t see the video? Click here

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Art Sale A Success

Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome resident Rebecca, along with former residents Gerald, Donna, and other Imagine! CORE/Labor Source artists, held an art show and sale in conjunction with Imagine!’s employee Thanksgiving potluck on Friday. By all accounts, sales (and spirits) were high. Great work, everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Support Imagine!'s SmartHomes On CO Gives Day!


The Fifth Annual Colorado Gives Day is Tuesday, Dec. 9 -- a great day to "give where you live." Each nonprofit receiving a donation on this day receives a portion of an Incentive Fund. This year, the Incentive Fund has more than tripled to $1 Million! This means that Imagine! will receive a portion of this fund for every donation we receive, and will increase the impact of your generosity. Your gift will have a far-reaching impact on the clients we serve, and their families.

Avoid the virtual rush by scheduling your donation now. Your credit card will be charged on Colorado Gives Day (Dec. 9), and you'll ensure that Imagine! receives a share of the $1 Million Incentive Fund.

On Colorado Gives Day, please consider supporting Imagine!’s SmartHomes project by clicking here and writing “SmartHomes” in the comments..

Thank you in advance!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Guess Who's Touring The SmartHomes?

Scheduled to tour Imagine!’s Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont tomorrow: Ted Risk, Ryan Wibby, and Martha Bartels. The trio are from Wibby Brewing, one of Longmont’s newest microbreweries. We greatly appreciate their interest in our SmartHomes and their community. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Technology Tuesday

Imagine!’s own Stephanie Tilley was recently the subject of an article in Apostrophe Magazine.

Apostrophe is a national publication promoting inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their stories and photos show people achieving independence, contributing to their communities, and enjoying life.

In the article, Stephanie explains why using technology is so important to those with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and gives examples of how she incorporates technology in the classes she teaches at Imagine!’s CORE/Labor Source department.

Check out the story here.

Way to go, Stephanie!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Let Them Eat Cake!

Residents of Imagine!’s Charles Family SmartHome and Santa Fe Group Home were surprised on Sunday with the gift of a homemade delicious cake to take home! This cake was extravagantly decorated and was presented to Stacey, Gerald, and Donna as a thanks for being a valued part of the New Horizons Christian Church community. A big thank you to Jamie Sierra (previous Imagine! employee) for baking this special treat!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Guess Who's Touring The SmartHomes?

Scheduled to tour Imagine!’s Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont today: Marianna Onufryk, who is visiting from Ukraine. Marianna has a PhD in Economics and she is visiting Longmont as a guest of Longmont Rotary Club as part of the Library of Congress’ “Open World” program. We are excited to have the opportunity to demonstrate to her the future of care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Baking Extravaganza

It's a baking extravaganza at the Longmont Charles Family SmartHome! Stacey and her cooking assistants spent a few hours making cupcakes from scratch and learning measuring skills in our accessible kitchen. Stacey's home is equipped with countertops that raise and lower, allowing her to use tools like a mixer and an easily accessible oven to bake up the finished product.

Bon app├ętit!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

SmartHomes Update

Imagine!’s Communications Coordinator Sterling Wind recently prepared a brief update on Imagine!’s SmartHomes project for the Board of Directors of the Imagine! Foundation, focusing on the work we do to continue to promote the project and share what we know with others in the field of serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We thought it would be worth sharing Sterling’s report with you as well.

Here are a few project highlights since my last report:
  • Interest surrounding the Imagine! SmartHomes project continues to be strong, as members of the Imagine! SmartSupports team continues to be invited to speak at conferences, meetings and to consult with providers from around the United States. Since my last update, our team has provided tours to twenty five professionals associated with our national trade association ANCOR who were in town to attend the 14th Annual Coleman Institute on Cognitive Disabilities Conference on October 9 and the ANCOR Technology Summit and Showcase on October 10. Imagine! benefits from the curiosity, input, and questions from visiting skilled professionals from outside our organization. In addition to our out-of-town guests, the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome was also toured in mid-October by representatives from Imagine!’s Board of Directors, Alliance (Colorado State Association for Community Centered Boards and Provider Organizations), and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Finance (HCPF).  
  • You can learn about presentations associated with the Imagine!’s SmartHomes SmartSupports projects by visiting - http://imaginessmarthomesblog.blogspot.com/ and entering either presentable and/or presentations into the search bar, found in the upper left-hand corner of the SmartHomes Blog.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Technology Tuesday

People with cognitive disabilities have an equal right to technology and information access. A coalition of disability organizations and individuals asserted this right in a formal declaration, The Rights of People with Cognitive Disabilities to Technology and Information Access, announced at the Thirteenth Annual Coleman Institute National Conference on Cognitive Disability and Technology, held in 2013.

At the 14th Annual Coleman Institute National Conference on Cognitive Disability and Technology, held just this past October, the video below debuted. You are encouraged to watch it and be reminded as to why Imagine! continues to diligently work to increase technology use among the population we serve. You might also recognize some of the people in the footage showing how technology is already being utilized by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities – they are residents of Imagine!’s Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome.

Can’t see the video? Click here

If you haven’t already, please endorse the declaration by following this link, and to affirm your commitment to the equal rights of people with cognitive disabilities to technology and information access.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Imagine! Is Hiring An Assistive Technology Instructor

Would you like to be part of Imagine!’s team using technology to increase self-reliance among individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities? Imagine! is currently hiring an Assistive Technology Instructor.

Information about the job (and other Imagine! positions) here

Friday, November 7, 2014

Checking In With Gerald

Here’s an update on Gerald, who used to live in Imagine!’s Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome. Last night, Imagine! hosted an Open House for its brand new Santa Fe Group Home in Broomfield. The Santa Fe Group Home serves as a home base to meet the multiple needs of six individuals with developmental disabilities who are seniors or experiencing the early onset of aging-related conditions that often accompany these disabilities. This specialized care allows the individuals to live in a neighborhood setting while avoiding the more costly nursing home alternative. The highlight of the evening was a brief presentation by Gerald, who recently moved into the home. Gerald used his DynaVox, a computerized communication device, to share a little about himself and his life.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Trip To The Ranch


Last week, several folks from Imagine!’s Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome took a day trip out to visit the Acres of Opportunity Ranch (AOR) to visit the farm, brush, feed, and of course pet some of the farms animals.

John, pictured above, said that his favorite part of the trip was, "getting close to the horses and getting to pet them and feed them. It was exciting!!! I liked seeing the pig on the farm, too."

AOR is an Equine Learning Center that offers several unique programs to the communities in Northern Colorado. Working in partnership with the horse, each participant is given a chance to create a relationship of understanding and respect in order to achieve their ultimate goals.
The AOR provides a variety of programs, which are educational, recreational, and therapeutic. Offering both private and group sessions for all ages, as well as volunteer opportunities, AOR is able to serve the community with a wonderful horse experience. Although participants that come to Acres of Opportunity Ranch enjoy riding our beloved horses, the programs are not only riding focused. AOR recognizes the importance of education and life skills. Entrusting one of the most brilliant teachers of all, the horse, AOR provides a safe container for participants of all ages to learn.



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Technology Tuesday

We have told you many times before about Imagine!’s collaboration with the University of Colorado Engineering School, where students create a variety of assistive technology projects for individuals served by Imagine!. (Don’t recall? Check out here, here, here, here, and here for just a few examples of projects).

Well, students this semester are at it again, and one group has taken their project to the next level. They have entered their project into an Elevations Credit Union contest, wherein Elevations is giving away up to $1,500 to help fund local projects that support the Boulder community. As they put it, Elevations wants to support “CU Buffs that are doing something awesome for their community.”

The winners of the funding are determined in part by an online vote on Facebook, and you can help. Click here and vote for “Electronic Color Organ Box.” You can vote once daily, and the contest runs through Friday, so don’t be shy – feel free to vote every day. Here is how the students are describing their project and how they would use the funds:

Our awesome project is an electronic color organ box. A phone or music player is plugged into it, and six different boxes will light up based on the bass, mid, and treble sounds from the music. There will be two columns of boxes, the bottom two are the biggest and will light up the same color with the base. The middle two will light up a different color together with the mid frequencies. And the top two boxes will light up a third color with the high frequencies. There will be three different color schemes that the user can choose for the boxes to be through a remote. The remote will also be able to control the volume of the music and intensity of the light. This electronic color organ box will be put in Imagine!’s Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont, CO, which is a home for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We will use the money for electronic boards such as an arduino and spectrum shield. A spectrum shield breaks up the frequencies of the music. Also, we will buy nice acrylic to make the boxes and so the light will have a nice glow through it. We will buy LEDs for the colored light, an AC/DC cord, and miscellaneous things such as wires and screws. The money will definitely be put to good use! 

Thanks for helping out, and thanks especially to the CU students for adding their project to this contest!

Don’t forget to vote

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Fun

Last weekend, residents of the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome went to a pumpkin patch, and staff member Keysha Torres took a unique and creative approach when it came time for carving one of the pumpkins. Here is resident Lana admiring her work.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

When Is It OK To Use The R-Word?

Taking a day out from sharing SmartHome info to share this simple chart explaining when it is ok to use the R-word.

SPOILER ALERT – the answer is never.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Technology Tuesday

Today’s Technology Tuesday comes from Chris Baumgart, Imagine!’s Assistive Technology Specialist. Chris provides us the latest edition of a little segment he likes to call “Chris’s Corner.” Thanks, Chris! 

Chris’s Corner
"Down on the corner…Out in the Street…"

Coming to you straight from Imagine! CORE/Labor Source’s (CLS) own Boulder Adaptive Orchestra: “Give Us a Beat!”

The Adaptive Orchestra, which meets weekly at Imagine!'s Boulder CLS site, focuses on teaching a variety of skills to the individuals it serves. Many of the skills taught are what you’d expect to find in any music class: theory, note recognition, group performance, musical expression, and so many more. These skills can be taught any number of ways, as you can see by the simple adaptation featured below, used to teach specific keyboard keys that apply to specific scales.


Additionally, and this is where I get excited, this class is always challenged to find new and creative ways to engage its students, as well as broadening areas of inclusion for everyone. This has led to a number of new tools, ranging anywhere from iPad apps that allow more individuals to play virtual instruments in an arrangement, to digital drum pads, to MIDI controllers, and more. The newest introduction to this inclusive tool kit now turns DynaVox communication devices into dynamic music monster machines!

Shown below is a traditional MIDI Controller.


These controllers allow participants to press any of the buttons you see pictured, and each button sends a unique signal that is associated with various musical notes (from a range of virtual instruments), in addition to other samples and loops. However, the necessity of physically pressing the buttons presents a challenge to many individuals, and may hinder individuals (especially those using a communication device) from participating.

Now, by using the AccessIt interface pictured below, individuals are able to use their communication devices to mimic many of the same signals that a typical MIDI controller would transmit.


The user page shown above is a basic page set to transmit ten different unique signals that are easy to use and easy to customize, thus taking inclusive music performance and composition to a whole new horizon.

Stay tuned for video of footage of these sessions in action!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Presentable

On Wednesday, November 5, Imagine!’s SmartHomes guru Greg Wellems will be presenting at the 2014 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute in Washington, D.C.

Greg will be part of a panel discussing “Community-Based Treatment Through Technology: Remote Monitoring, SmartHomes & More.”

Consumer health monitoring – also known as remote patient monitoring (RPM) – is a valuable form of ambulatory health care that gathers consumer biometric information through mobile medical devices and sends that information to health care professionals. Once collected, that data can be stored and analyzed, and acted upon in real time. The benefits to remote monitoring include reduced use of personnel and inpatient care, as well as increased consumer satisfaction and engagement. In this session, we will explore the benefits of remote monitoring technology and learn about some of the innovative new products on the market. The session will include:

  • An overview of the remote monitoring market and future trends 
  • A discussion on the benefits of using remote monitoring in community-based settings 
  • A look at some of the new remote monitoring technologies available 
Good luck, Greg!