GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia Board of Developmental Disabilities will be hosting a “Mobile Smart Home” and its technology at the Guiding Hand School March 6 at 10 a.m.

The public is invited to observe the display.

According to a news release, the Southern Ohio Council of Governments ( SOCOG) was awarded grant funding to purchase a Mobile Smart Home to promote awareness of technology-based support for people with developmental disabilities. Devices and services called “remote supports” can give people access to support staff over two-way video or audio conversations. In addition, many technologies in the home such as security systems, door locks, cameras and motion sensors are accessible by remote staff from a central monitoring facility. Remote supports are designed to complement traditional in-home services, and individuals can choose which option is right for them. These supports can allow greater privacy and independence while reducing the cost of services and allowing more people to receive services during a shortage of available staff.

SOCOG received the $20,000 grant on Jan. 1, 2019 from Ohio State’s Nisonger Center and the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. SOCOG’s grant funds went toward the purchase of a trailer that was outfitted in April 2019 with technology by Total Homecare Solutions, LLC, a leading provider of remote support services. Ohio’s goal of creating awareness about remote supports was formalized on May 24, 2018 when then Gov. John Kasich signed an executive order making Ohio a Technology First state. This order specifically stated Ohio’s goal to “ensure supportive technology solutions are considered when determining the appropriate services and supports to be provided for people with developmental disabilities.” SOCOG’s grant proposal called for a technology expert to lead the grant’s efforts. Due to his background in technology and knowledge of service delivery, George Myers, IT director at the Ross County Board of Developmental Disabilities, was chosen for this role.

“The 15 counties SOCOG represents are so spread out that a Mobile Smart Home just makes sense. We can take the technology to people where they live and let them see what remote supports look like in person,” Myers said.

Gallia Board of Developmental Disabilities Community Integration and Transitions Specialist and Employment Navigator Eileen Jones said that some clients in the Gallia area utilize technology similar to remote support and that the board would support further integration of such technology in the area for its clients.