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Emory Valley Center provides support, such as Enabling Technology, to children and adults with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities in 16 East Tennessee counties.

Celeste was unsure what she wanted to do as far as working, but one thing was for sure –– she wanted to be around people and help them. After an overwhelming job-hunting day at the mall, Celeste and her Emory Valley Center Job Developer went to McDonald’s for lunch. There, they noticed someone cleaning the tables and helping the customers as they came in. Celeste’s staff turned to her and asked, “Do you think you would like a job like that since you have a bubbly personality and want to be around people?” Celeste wanted to try it out before deciding, so she went back to shadow the lobby attendant. She loved it. It went so well that she decided to apply and was hired.

Emory Valley Center (EVC) staff supports more than 3,100 children and adults with blindness, deafness, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and other complex health conditions. One way they are helping clients like Celeste live a more independent life is through Enabling Technology.

Enabling Technology ranges from a cellphone with programmed reminders to a device that allows people to stay home for a certain amount of time without a Direct Support Professional. For example, Celeste uses a Mobile Personal Emergency Response (mPERS) pendant. It is a two-way communication device that will enable her to contact her job coach when she needs assistance at work. Two-way voice communication and Short Message Service (SMS) texting provide prompts to help Celeste stay on task, reminders for breaks, and recognition for completing tasks.

Celeste’s device also helps her family confirm her arrival and departure from pre-determined locations. It has not only made Celeste more independent at her job, but it also makes her family feel good knowing that she is safe and supported while at work.
With the support of their Maximus grant, EVC continues to lead the state of Tennessee in providing clients like Celeste with opportunities and tools to gain the independence they desire and deserve using Enabling Technology.

Celeste has been at her job as a lobby attendant since May 2018 and loves it. Her co-workers and customers love her, especially her big smile and laughter.

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