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Portage and Mahoning DD boards get tech grant

AUSTINTOWN — A collaboration among the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities, the Portage County Board of DD and the remote support provider SafeInHome has resulted in a $30,000 grant from the state.

The money will be split among the three agencies and will be used for technology innovations for those with disabilities.

SafeInHome provides remote support and assistive technologies for people with disabilities. It supports more than 400 individuals and families in Ohio, with services in four other states. Mahoning DD provides support and services to 1,500 individuals, and Portage County DD supports 1,000 individuals.

Over the next year, the agencies will work with families and providers on a plan to use the funds with four goals in mind:

• To encourage the use of technology by people with disabilities, in order to promote independent living skills;

• To research geographic locations where technology is lacking due to lack of internet connection;

• To develop a community education center where technology education, training and research will happen;

• To develop an expert technology team to be shared by the agencies.

Emily Martinez, Community Services director for Mahoning DD, and George Winsen, Supervisor, Service and Support Administration director for Portage DD, are excited to work together with SafeInHome.

“Innovative technology has improved the lives of many with disabilities. It offers people a choice to meet their goals of increased independence,” Winsen said.

Martinez noted: “For many people with disabilities, tech use is a pathway to increasing skills, engaging with the world, and socializing. It betters people’s lives.”

Ann Eubank, marketing director for SafeInHome, thanked the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities for this unique opportunity to collaborate. “Ohio is a national leader in providing innovative technology for people with disabilities,” Eubank said.

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