Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Technology Tuesday

Imagine! Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) provides evidence-based behavioral services in a variety of settings through education and collaboration.

IBHS team members have long used the latest in technology to help in delivering meaningful and impactful services. Today, they share some online apps that they have found useful in their work.

Little Writer - The Tracing App for Kids 

Little Writer is a tracing app. Some helpful aspects of the app include:
  • You can turn individual items on or off and introduce one letter at a time based on the player skills 
  • You can customize everything - record your own language or add your own words 
  • You can add pictures and names of family and friends to write 
  • The app also includes a collection of basic shapes to draw since handwriting require the same core skills 
  • The app comes preloaded with dozens of three and four letter words to write 
  • The app is easy to use for kids of all ages and abilities. 
The app includes
  • ABC uppercase letters 
  • abc lowercase letters 
  • Numbers 1 to 10 
  • 20 basic shapes including lines, circles, rectangles and more 
  • Dozens of 3 and 4 letter words to make practice more enjoyable and interesting 
  • Ability to add an unlimited number of your own words and pictures for maximum enjoyment and variety 
  • Additional letters for foreign language characters. 
  • Customization - turn additional characters on and record their sound 

Sounding Board 

SoundingBoard transforms your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad into the latest in communication technology. In just minutes, you can create custom boards using AbleNet symbols or your own words. This App is perfect for children in special education, persons on the autism spectrum, and adults with disabilities. SoundingBoard includes switch access and is compatible with the AbleNet Blue2 Switch.
Important note - SoundingBoard is compatible with the following Apple devices: 
  • iPad Air 2 
  • iPad Air 
  • iPad 4th Generation 
  • iPad 3rd Generation 
  • iPad 2 
  • iPad mini 3rd Generation 
  • iPad mini 2nd Generation 
  • iPad mini 
  • iPhone 6 Plus 
  • iPhone 6 
  • iPhone 5s 
  • iPhone 5c 
  • iPhone 5 
  • iPhone 4s 
  • iPod touch 5th Generation

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Donna And Gerald Present At MSU

Donna and Gerald, former Imagine! SmartHome residents who currently reside at Imagine!’s Santa Fe Group Home in Broomfield, made a presentation to an undergraduate class at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Each shared their perspectives and stories of how their lives have changed over the years, and how they each contribute and participate in community life. As you can see in the pictures below, Donna, Gerald, and the students enjoyed learning and sharing time together.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Technology Tuesday

A group of University of Colorado students in Professor Melinda Piket-May's Spring 2015 Engineering class worked on adaptive equipment projects for individuals served by Imagine!. We have already shared some of those projects (here and here).

Today, we are going to share two more projects. In the videos below, you will hear the students explain the projects, talk about some of the challenges they faced in designing and building the projects, and discuss what they learned through the process. If you want to skip ahead, and the end of each video you will be able to see the students demonstrate the project.

Voice Activated Lamp

  Can’t see the video? Click here.

Safe House System

  Can’t see the video? Click here

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Testing CU Assistive Tech Project

Great picture of Crystal, who receives services from Imagine!’s CORE/Labor Source department, testing out her new adaptive audio device that allows her to "feel" the music:

The device was created by CU Engineering students in Professor Melinda Piket-May’s class. Learn more about the CU/Imagine! collaboration here.

And check out a video of the students explaining their project:

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Tomorrow, Imagine! SmartHomes guru Greg Wellems will be delivering the keynote address at New York’s third annual AT EXPO. Check out the press release below from People, Inc., one of the sponsors of the conference, for more details about Greg’s presentation(s).

BUFFALO, NY - The 3rd Annual AT EXPO 2015 (Assistive Technology Conference) Implementing Technology From SmartHomes to SmartSupports will be held on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at Millennium Hotel, 2040 Walden Ave. Cheektowaga, NY 14225, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This AT Expo is being sponsored by People Inc., Parent Network of WNY, Early Childhood Direction Center (ECDC) and Learning Partners. 

Assistive Technology (AT) is any kind of technology, tool, device or service that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a disability. A SmartHome is a home that incorporates cutting edge technologies to improve the quality and efficiency of service and supports for people with disabilities. 

This year’s annual conference: Implementing Technology From SmartHomes to SmartSupports, will feature keynote speaker, Greg Wellems, COO, Imagine! on Assistive Technology in the home and community. 

There will be two sessions on mobility and communication: The Mobile Technology Wave: How to Utilize Tablet Technology for Individuals with Limited Movement and To Engage in Functional Communication by Dr. Katrina Fulcher-Rood, Ph.D. CCC-SLP and I’m not straight, so please don’t make me! Custom Seating Do’s and Don’ts! by Sheila Buck, B.Sc. (OT), Reg. 

The third session will focus on Developing Technology as a Core Service featuring keynote speaker, Greg Wellems. The AT Expo is for assistive technology users, their families, educators, clinicians, agency providers and administrators. 

The AT Expo will include an exhibit room featuring vendors and sponsors who will have an opportunity to speak about their technology products and answer questions throughout the day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Technology Tuesday

For today's Technology Tuesday, we'd like to share an exciting announcement from the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), the National Trade Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disability (I/DD) Providers.

ANCOR Names Alex Andrews 2015 Direct Support Professional of The Year

Honored for work in support of community living for people with disabilities

Arlington, VA. - The American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) announced today that Alex Andrews of Imagine! in Lafayette, CO, is the recipient of the 2015 National Direct Support Professional Recognition Award.

Greg Wellems, Imagine!'s Director of Operations with Alex,
and Kevin Harding, Imagine! Director of Information Technology

ANCOR presented the award to Andrews at a ceremony honoring Direct Support Professionals (DSP) at ANCOR's 2015 Conference: Ignite! in Arlington, VA in front of an audience of over 300 attendees.

Leah, Alex, and Diana

Since 2007, ANCOR has honored exceptional Direct Support Professionals with the Direct Support Professional Recognition Award for exemplary work in furthering community inclusion and full participation for the many Americans living with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities. Andrews was the standout of this year's field of more than 250 nominees. ANCOR also named state recipients of the DSP Recognition Award in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.

Andrews, a DSP for over 17 years, is especially recognized for his work as a "Technology Architect" at his organization - modifying, implementing and maintaining assistive technology devices and systems used throughout Imagine!

Alex Andrews finds the right technology, pairs it with a person who needs it and has the skills to use it, and loving relationships develop as they learn to use it. Andrews walked down the aisle with a gentlemen who met his wife using the communication device that Andrews found and taught him to use. He stood by the side of a young man who spent many years in a state institution as he finally graduated from high school, supported by Andrews. He is currently assisting a young woman who lives with him and his family as she creates "webisodes" of her new independent life, facilitated by low and high-tech solutions shaped by Andrews.

Webisode #1

Can't see the video? Click here.

Webisode #2

  Can’t see the video? Click here.

"For him it's not just technology per se, "says Kevin Harding, Director of Information Technology at Imagine! "It's about a person who has had an issue and no one has even tried to solve the person's problem. Alex will."

"I am infatuated with technology and how it levels the playing field, "Andrews explained. "People who could not communicate start communicating and that leads to them making choices - their choices, not someone else's..."

"It is such a pleasure to read so many stories of exceptional DSPs and the work they are doing to support people with disabilities," said Barbara Merrill, ANCOR CEO. "Our national and state award recipients truly are the cream of the crop, but we know that there are many like them across the country, working largely without recognition, who deserve our gratitude and appreciation for their hard work, dedication and compassion."

"It is the mission of ANCOR's National Advocacy Campaign to obtain the resources necessary to attract and retain professionals like Mr. Andrews and this year's state award recipients," continued Merrill. "As we prepare to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we must continue to remind our policy makers that quality services to support people with disabilities require a stable and qualified workforce who are valued for the work they do."

ANCOR's Direct Support Professional Recognition Award is given to those who personify the values of ANCOR's National Advocacy Campaign. Nominees are judged on their success in helping people with disabilities build social networks and engage in substantive community participation and for advocating for the people they serve.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Karen's Success

Last October we introduced you to Karen, who is a resident at Imagine!’s Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome in Boulder

Karen has been busy these last five months, honing her cooking skills by trying out new recipes, and working out as her physical therapist advised to move toward regaining the independence that she enjoyed before experiencing an unexpected health event.

Check out this video that Karen asked Shannon Bundy, site supervisor at the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome, to share, which shows the progress that Karen has achieved since October 2014. Karen has lost more than 20 pounds, and is able to stand all on her own!

Congratulations Karen, and thank you for sharing this video!

Can’t see the video? Click here

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Rebecca's Art

Check out this art project created by Rebecca, who lives in the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome in Boulder. The initials on the project are her roommates’. By the way, this photo and story was shared with us by Gary Stebick, Imagine!’s longtime Communications Coordinator, who retired last fall. He still keeps in touch with his SmartHomes friends, and still shares fun stories with us! Thanks Gary, we miss you!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Technology Tuesday

A group of University of Colorado students in Professor Melinda Piket-May's Spring 2015 Engineering class worked on adaptive equipment projects for individuals served by Imagine!. Last week we gave you a sneak peek at one of the projects. Today, we are going to share several more projects.

In the videos below, you will hear the students explain the projects, talk about some of the challenges, and discuss what they learned through the process. If you want to skip ahead, and the end of each video you will be able to see the students demonstrate the project.

Thanks as always to Professor Piket-May and her students. These projects continue to amaze and delight, and even more important, they offer the people we serve unique opportunities to become more self-reliant.

Assistive Can Hole-Punch
This assistive can hole punch was designed for some individuals served by Imagine! who also work for our good friends at Oskar Blues Brewery so they can be more efficient at their jobs.

Can’t see the video? Click here

Assistive Fishing Rod
This project is an assistive fishing rod, allowing an individual with limited mobility in his arms to cast his fishing rod independently.
  Can’t see the video? Click here.

Game Show
This “game show” helps stimulate and improve motor functions and assists in improving focus and attentiveness.
  Can’t see the video? Click here.

The next two projects offer opportunities for individuals who are Deaf to experience music and rhythms through vibrations – one through a headset, and one through a hand plate.

 “Innovative Vibrations”
  Can’t see the video? Click here

Vibrating Headband
  Can’t see the video? Click here.

Monday, May 4, 2015


Imagine! SmartHomes guru Greg Wellems had the honor today of introducing Dr. David Braddock, Director of the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Technologies, at the opening of the 2015 ANCOR Conference. Way to go Greg!