Review of: Smart Homes Made Simple

Smart Homes Made Simple: Your Guide to Smart Home Technology
By Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation

Personal Note: I spotted Susan Tachau’s name in a recent issue of AARP Magazine and noted that she and I lived in the same town near Philadelphia. I contacted her and we had a ZOOM interview followed by her sending me a copy of Smart Homes Made Simple. November also happens to be Assistive Technology Awareness Month.

This 8 ½ X 11 inches spiral bound guide is a project of the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) and was published “to raise awareness about people with disabilities and older adults control over their environment and live safely and more independently in their own homes, using generic smart home technology.” This foundation was started by Susan Tachau because of her own search for tools for her son born with a serious disability. Her success in creating PATF is obviously, at least in part, by her parental instincts to do what she could to make her son’s life more manageable. In doing so, PATF has helped many, many disabled people and older people obtain smart technology in their home.

This guide is user friendly, with chapters explaining to the client what exactly is smart technology and how to prepare a “smart home” with PATF’s help, choosing the technology suitable for each person’s needs and be able to afford it, maintain it, and troubleshoot any of the issues in using the technology via the Internet and smart phones.

What I especially like in this guide is that it is not cut and dried information. Instead, this 33 page booklet includes photos and stories of real clients and how they are managing their lives with the help of technology. In fact, each client’s story can be accessed on PATF’s website (www.smarthomesmadesimple.org) using photos and the client’s own words. Thus, the guide becomes personal and inspiring.

There is also a helpful chart near the end of the booklet on Common Issues and Solutions broken down into three columns: Identify Problem(s), Assess the Following (issues), and Step to Repair.

I never even knew such as organization existed until I saw Susan’s name is AARP and contacted her. Creating this project and having a guide is something I believe is a terrific endeavor to help people with disabilities or older people who want to remain home maneuver their daily activities with whatever technology works for them.

The book is FREE.  People can go to www.patf.us and request a copy or call our office at 484-674-0506. You can also download a copy from the website (https://patf.us/who-we-are/publications/). The Spanish version will be available by the end of December.

The book is FREE.  People can go to www.patf.us and request a copy or call our office at 484-674-0506. You can also download a copy from the website (https://patf.us/who-we-are/publications/). The Spanish version will be available by the end of December.

Thanks to Susan Tachau for sending me the book and raising my awareness of what tools are available to Pennsylvanians. I don’t know how many other states have this type of program, but it is worth investigating the website and guide. Thanks, Susan!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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