What is KenCrest’s Enabling Technology Program?

Enabling Technology supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities gain independence within their everyday lives.

By Sydney Kerelo

Since February 2020, KenCrest’s Enabling Technology department has connected people with disabilities in Pennsylvania with various devices and Technology that helps them achieve a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

“Our mission at KenCrest is to support independence,” says Julie Daly, Director of Enabling Technology. “That includes ensuring the people we support have access to the resources and solutions that offer them independence.”

According to Daly, KenCrest uses different levels of Technology to help the people we support, varying from voice assistants to chair lifts. Our off-the-shelf items include voice assistants like Alexa or Google Dot, video doorbells, and tablet or phone-based applications. The department uses intelligent home tech, including smart bulbs, medication dispensers, and oven timers.

“We have a gentleman who gets up throughout the night, and he now has a system that will turn on the lights if it senses movement between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.,” says Daly. “These customized systems are in place to allow the individual to self-direct and be more independent while giving information to their supports.”

A few of the other people we support utilize technologies like smart switches that connect to a smartphone app and can turn on and off a home’s lights. Many use timed medicine dispensers, adapted styluses, and even induction stoves to make everyday life easier.

Then there are other supports like the Razier Lift chair that limit risks when helping someone with disabilities into a standing or sitting position.


But before assigning someone with a new technology, the department must ensure that the Tech will achieve a person’s outcome goals.

“You never start with the technology; you always start with an outcome,” says Daly. “What is the goal? What do we want that person to achieve? And examples would be things like being able to answer the door safely or taking medications on their own. Once we know the goal, we engage the Enabling Technology team to see if there are Technology supports to meet that outcome.”

Tech success stories start with understanding a wish, dream, or desire of what a person with disabilities wants to accomplish. It can be as simple as wanting to remember an appointment, but no matter what the goal is, KenCrest helps make those dreams possible.

As an agency, KenCrest is committed to being “Tech First,” meaning that we always consider technology as a solution to support outcomes. But Tech First means more than just using it; it’s a potential support, not a replacement for staff.

Tech First is a commitment to innovation and a willingness to think creatively and differently. There are more than 20 states that have Tech First accreditations, including Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Connecticut.

KenCrest’s Lending Library, funded by a grant from the Truist Foundation, allows people we support to borrow technology and test their capabilities. Items in the Lending Library range from simple adaptions to highly specialized devices.

Enabling Technology, or otherwise known as Assistive Technologies, creates opportunities for people to engage in their community with greater confidence and a sense of belonging. A philosophy that KenCrest boasts daily, outside of November’s Assistive Technology Awareness Month.

November 9th, 2022 Enabling Technology
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KenCrest Corporate Office
960A Harvest Drive, Suite 100
Blue Bell, PA 19422

Phone: 610-825-9360 Fax: 610-825-4127

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