NHS Allegheny Valley School Opens First Smart Home

Enthusiastic residents in Aliquippa, PA led a tour of their new Smart Home, earlier this year, for NHS staff, and local media. The Smart Home utilizes innovative technologies to improve residents' quality of life and independence. Unique design features of the home include: kitchen cabinetry with motorized components, an adjustable height sink and induction cook-top, and drawer refrigerator and dishwasher. In the main living areas, window blinds controlled by an iPad, a Smart TV, and remote monitoring and control of the HVAC system provides residents with independence not found in traditional homes. The home also boasts "green" features, including a rain barrel in the backyard to reuse water collected throughout the home. The four residents, Tony B., George B., Michael M., and Mike R. demonstrated all the features the new home has to offer to invited guests. Special thanks go to Polk Foundation, Laughlin Memorial, The Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust, and the AVS Capital Development Fund for their generosity in underwriting this important initiative.
The Smart Home in Aliquippa is a community-based, residential program that provides active treatment services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, or related conditions, in a home-like setting. The ICF/ID homes, which usually house four to seven individuals, provide a higher level of support and care for individuals with complex medical needs and challenging behaviors. The goal of the program is to help residents achieve their maximum potential, as they maximize involvement in their community.

Senator Rocks commented, this is what the future of homes for challenged individuals is going to look like. They get to live more independently, and that's a part of what our mission is…independent living, and to have the same style of life that we have.

The home in Aliquippa is a pilot project that will be evaluated over the course of several months to determine what features can be integrated into other homes that NHS operates. To learn more about the home, and to see some of the unique features demonstrated, please play the video.