Don, Success Through Assistive Technology

DSC00423Donald is a 61-year-old man who moved back to Columbia in December of 2012. Donald returned to Columbia after living in Las Vegas Nevada and most recently in St. Joseph, Missouri. Donald qualifies for services through Boone County Family Resources due to his diagnosis of hearing loss.  Don has been Deaf since a very early age and attended the Missouri School for the Deaf in Fulton, MO. Don lost vision in one eye due to glaucoma and recently lost the remaining vision in his other eye in 2012. Don communicates using American Sign Language and uses tactile signing for receptive messages. Don will place his hands on top of the hands of the person signing and he will follow their signs to understand what is being said to him.

Don lives alone in his apartment. The use of assistive technology is vital to his success.  Don uses a notification system to let him know when someone is at the door. He has a receiver that he keeps in his pocket and when the door bell is pressed it makes the receiver vibrate.  He has an alarm clock that shakes his bed in the morning to wake him and has a braille pocket watch so he can tell time throughout the day.  The agency recently purchased a bedside alert system that will shake his bed if his fire alarms are going off at night.  The agency also assists with Lifeline services to help him remain safe in his home while he is alone.

Don receives support from the Department of Health and Senior Services to provide funding for in home care. Don accesses a Consumer Directed Support provider, through Integrity Home Care, to come to his home during the week to help him with paying bills, grocery shopping and house cleaning.  Don enjoys cleaning on his own when his provider is not at his home; he takes pride in keeping his home clean and in order. Don’s son, John, is fluent in American Sign Language and helps Don communicate with service providers and individuals in the community.

Don is very social and enjoys keeping up with current news and events. Don stays in touch with individuals in the Deaf community by using social media and attending events like “Come Sign with Us” at the Columbia mall, Homecoming events in Fulton, MO and going to picnics and amusement parks with the Missouri School for the Deaf Alumni Association.  Don also loves to follow sports mostly football and basketball and states that his favorite team is the University of Missouri Tigers.