'Technology First' Order Issued by Gov. John Kasich

posted by Jarrod Allen -

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Governor John Kasich on Thursday signed an executive order directing his head of Developmental Disabilities to use technology, sensors, apps, pads and robots to further help people who are disabled.

A robot, Milo, was showcased during the signing.

"This is an executive order for technology first. For example, the use of sensors. There might be a sensor on a toothbrush. So that the individual in the morning if the sensor doesn't indicate they used it, it will prompt them to use it," says John Martin, Director of the Ohio Dept. of Developmental Disabilities.

The order was signed in the ceremonial Lincoln Room at the Ohio Statehouse. One of the speakers at the event was Jason Umstot, Director of the Licking County Board of MR/DD, in Newark.

"Utilizing technology isn't for everyone. But for those that it is, it provides more options and more flexibility," Umstot said. "Utilization of remote supports doesn't mean that you cannot have direct staff. We have a lot of people that use technology at night, and then through the day, when they're working or they're doing some domestic responsibilities out in the community or at home, they can use direct support staff."

Martin says technology is not meant to replace support staff, but help them. "A sensor may be used for somebody who has seizures. The sensor will tell us if they have a seizure, and then we can check and see if they're alright. So, the person has that independence and doesn't have the staff with them all the time," he said.

John Martin speaking at the Statehouse

"If you were to ask the Licking County service and support administrators what they think of remote technology, I will tell you what they will say. They will say that it's very user-friendly. They will say it's not a one-size-fits-all model and that it's very customizable, and that technology provides options to people," Umstot said.

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