Published By
Susan Bisaillon
Chief Executive Officer, The Safehaven Project for Community Living

Technology is often referred to as the great equalizer in increasing communicability for persons with disabilities, and it happens on two planes. In some cases, individual technology plans and tools enable individuals to overcome physical or cognitive barriers, reintegrate into the community, and build their independence. In other cases, it should enable an entire system to modernize and improve care models and programming for those individuals.

Much like the rest of the world, 2020 has forced Safehaven to become more tech literate. From leadership to the front-line to our clients and their families, we have applied learnings to pivot every facet of care and program delivery. Technology has expedited project implementation and produced immediate and significant impacts for better client care and operational efficiency.

One of our guiding values is focalizing a client-family centered approach. We know the irreplaceable value our families add to our care model and the challenge our families are currently experiencing. As an organization, we continue to do our best to consult and identify COVID-19 pressure points where we can leverage tech to increase connection and bolster our entire organization’s mental, physical, and emotional health.

We are currently studying our process to understand how we can increase operational efficiency and our capacity for virtual care. Safehaven is partnering with universities, large scale tech companies, our counterparts in the health field and pushing the envelope of innovative care techniques and synergetic platforms. By supporting our families and our employees, we are reinforcing the clients’ surrounding care structure. In short, what may have traditionally taken eight years to implement is occurring over eight months and reinforcing a high-quality care structure.

As we near the end of 2020, I am challenging myself to learn and leverage the vast technology that exists today. I am also challenging all of us to engage in strategic approaches to not only combat COVID-19 now but to create inclusive environments that will outlast this current health crisis. As we move forward, we must be advocates and remind health and other industries to consult individuals, their families, and their care providers. Apply nothing about us without us as we use tech to drive system-wide solutions for persons with disabilities.