Keystone Human Services Announces the International Zero Project Recognition of its Technology for Independent Living Program as an Innovative Model for Supporting People with Intellectual Disability


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December 2, 2022

Kris Weaver, KHS VP of Development
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(Harrisburg, PA) December 2, 2022 – Keystone Human Services announced today that the innovative Technology for Independent Living program, launched in 2018 through KHS’s Intellectual Disability Services, has been recognized by the prestigious Vienna, Austria-based Zero Project as a model deserving global attention and replication.

Technology for Independent Living focuses on using technology, both what’s readily available from Google and Amazon and more sophisticated tools, to support people with intellectual disability to live more independently. Initiated by people with disability who expressed their desire to live more independently and reduce the amount of support they received from paid staff, the program operates through a collaborative process. Each person sets their own goals and works closely with KHS staff and technology vendors to customize a solution.

People’s goals vary and change over time. The flexibility of this program gives people the freedom to fine-tune their technology tools and add new ones to enhance their independence in different areas of their lives. Someone who starts with technology support around spending the night alone may discover that they want to learn to safely cook breakfast on their own.

“It makes me feel happy,” said Earl Stone. “I can do things on my own now. I can be more independent for myself.”

Since 2018, the program has grown to support 88 people across three different services, resulting in 17,000 fewer hours of direct support annually. Although some of the technology started out as a safety net, it has become a natural support for people, allowing them to have autonomy and check in with their support person when they need to rather than the support person checking in with them. The use of technology has been so successful that technology has the potential to become a natural support in each person’s person-centered plan.

Most importantly, people who have incorporated smart technology into their lives report that their quality of life has improved.

“We’re honored to be recognized as an innovative leader in using technology to support people with disability,” said Charles Hooker, KHS President and CEO. “We’re cultivating a culture of curiosity among our employees and the people we support, encouraging people to explore available technology and try it, similar to the way anyone would try new technology to see if it would enhance their lives. Technology gives people greater opportunity to direct their own lives.”


About Keystone Human Services

KHS is a multi-national human services organization based in Harrisburg, PA. KHS operates in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, the Republic of Moldova, and India, providing advocacy, services, and supports in early childhood education and family support, mental health, autism, and intellectual, developmental, cognitive, and physical disability. We build communities where everyone can thrive, direct their own lives, establish homes, find meaningful work, pursue education alongside their peers, and fill valued roles in the community. In addition to operating as KHS, KHS provides services through Susquehanna Service Dogs (SSD), Capital Area Head Start (CAHS), Partnerships for People, Key Human Services, Keystone Autism Services, Keystone Moldova, and Keystone Institute India.

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