SimplyHome, LLC Awarded Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology Grant

SimplyHome, LLC has been awarded the Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology Grant (SAHAT) by the Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA).

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and Rep. Mark Meadows acknowledged their support of the grant.

“I applaud you for your dedication in providing each individual in the disabled veteran community an opportunity to live independently,” wrote Tillis.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently released the following:

VA Awards Grants to Develop Technology to Help Veterans,
Servicemembers Modify Their Specially Adapted Homes

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today the award of $783,421 in Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology (SAHAT) Grants to eligible individuals, researchers, and organizations to develop new technologies that would enhance Veterans and Servicemembers’ ability to live in specially adapted homes.

The SAHAT Grant Program was authorized by Congress to design assistive technologies to expand home modification options for Veterans who apply for VA’s Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) benefit. Grants of up to $200,000 have been issued to four selected grantees.

“We’re excited and expect that the technology developed with these grants will augment Veteran and Servicemembers’ options for living independently in their own homes,” said Curt Coy, Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity. “New technology will serve Veterans who currently live in specially adapted houses and open doors for more Veterans looking to modify their homes to fit their needs.”

Read the full article here.

To learn more about SimplyHome, visit our website or email

The article was funded in part by a grant from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Kevin and Avonte’s Law: What You Should Know

In an article by Autism Speaks, Federal wandering legislation passes committee vote, gains momentum, it’s stated that a third of children with autism have wandered within the past year.

A new bill, Kevin and Avonte’s Law, has the potential to assist caregivers and families who have loved ones with Alzheimer’s or Autism with a tendency to wander.  It was recently passed by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 15 to 5 and will now go before the Senate.

autism speaks

Kevin and Avonte’s Law is named in honor of two boys with autism who perished after wandering. Nine-year-old Kevin Curtis Wills jumped into Iowa’s Raccoon River near a park and drowned in 2008.  Fourteen year-old Avonte Oquendo left his school and drowned in New York City’s East River in 2014.

The bill allows Justice Department grants to be used by law enforcement agencies and nonprofits for education and training programs to prevent wandering. The bill also provides access to resources to help individuals who become separated from their caregivers. The grants will facilitate training and emergency protocols for school personnel, supply first responders with additional information and resources, and make local tracking technology programs available for individuals who may wander from safety.

The full article can be viewed here.  Disability Scoop has also published additional details regarding the bill.

What technology is available now to help?

The SimplyHome System: By communicating with multiple sensors to observe activities of daily living, the SimplyHome System proactively alerts caregivers and loved ones of changes in behavioral patterns. Text, email or phone alerts can be generated by a single event, an intersection of multiple events or by inactivity.

The Arc’s Tech Toolbox is a place to find, share, rate and review technology for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD).



2016 Sky High Growth Award

2016 Sky High Growth AwardWe’re excited to announce SimplyHome has received the 2016 Sky High Growth Award by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce.  This award, based on growth in revenue and employment, also recognized 35 other companies in Asheville.  We believe our growth has been parallel to that of Asheville and the work we do reflects the work of this city. See the entire list here. 

Allen Ray, Co-founder and CEO of SimplyHome, says, “We could have chosen anywhere in the country to have as our corporate headquarters and we choose Asheville. What I like most about living in Asheville is I’m surrounded by people who also happily choose to live and work here.”

Did you know…

Visitors are often greeted by one of our office pups – Since it’s a dog-friendly office!

One room of the office contains a ping pong table used for company tournaments.

The SimplyHome name came from a conversation with a nursing home resident who stated no matter how well she’s treated, how great the food tastes, or how well she likes living in this nursing home, if given a choice, she’d want to “Simply be home.”


Success Gained Through Technology

SimplyHome technology engages local, familiar and natural supports so they can be available when they’re needed, instead of being at a site all the time just in case there is a need.

This week is NYSACRA’s 39th Annual Conference, “Listen Up,” taking place April 19th – 22nd. Our New York partner Meghan O’Sullivan will be speaking about the types of technology available and the outcomes of a grant recently administered by NYSACRA.

The NYSACRA Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) Grant is an opportunity for 20 individuals in New York to access the efficacy of using technology, providing outcomes for more efficient support.

Technology supports such as the SimplyHome System, Medication Dispenser and Telehealth Suite enable new options for independent living for these clients. Because the technology has non-invasive solutions, SimplyHome technology engages local, familiar and natural supports so they can be available when they’re needed, instead of being at a site all the time just in case there is a need.

The following data was collected over approximately four months.  Even in the short-term, success can be gained when we allow individuals options and choices for the way they want to live.

Potential Total Savings: SimplyHome System, Medication Dispenser, Telehealth

potential savings

The potential total savings for these 20 individuals over a four month period (this includes the SimplyHome System, Medication Dispenser and Telehealth) is $119,880 or approximately $1,500 per person, per month.

SimplyHome System

What it does: By communicating with multiple sensors to observe activities of daily living, the SimplyHome System proactively alerts caregivers and loved ones of changes in behavioral patterns. Text, email or phone alerts are generated when concerning events happen or don’t happen.

Client Example:

Two individuals sharing a residence are using a SimplyHome System. Each client has a panic pendant and bed pad.

Outcome Summary:

Seven separate events triggered immediate alerts to staff of potential issues for the residents in their home. This included smoke in the home, doors opening late at night and clients requesting assistance from staff.  In four months, one individual pressed the panic pendant 12 times.

The data also showed staff how frequently one client was leaving bed during the night, allowing the client to manage evening routines and self-care more effectively.

SimplyHome Medication Dispenser

What it does: SimplyHome’s Medication Dispenser is a tamper-proof, programmable device that can dispense pre-filled medications up to four times each day. Should the client not access their medication at the proper time, the dispenser can send an alert to the individual, support staff or natural supports through a phone call, text message or email.


Seven medication dispensers were used during this four month study, with a total of 1,048 dispensing times.


The systems showed a 96% compliance with accessing medications at the proper time. New levels of independence were gained by the individuals being able to now access medication on their own.  It also gave family and staff peace of mind that should the individual miss a dose, they can be notified.

SimplyHome Telehealth Supports

What it does: These wellness tools offer remote monitoring of blood pressure, blood oxygen, glucose, body temperature, and weight. Readings are collected automatically in the home through a wireless connection to the SimplyHome Hub. The highly trained care staff center has oversight from a registered nurse for targeted interventions of readings outside of a predefined range.

 Client Example:

Monitoring Blood Glucose:  Custom Range for the client is 70 – 200.


45 total readings received over a four month period.

12 of the 45 total readings indicated glucose levels were outside of the custom range, issuing 12 call center interventions.

For this client, staff was engaged on approximately 9% of the total readings, whereas in the past they most likely would have been involved on all 45 readings, despite the glucose levels being in a normal range for the client.

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To learn more about SimplyHome, check out our website at or email Customer Service at

Ring Video Doorbell: “See who’s there, from anywhere”

Wherever you live, it’s almost guaranteed you will periodically have visitors come to your door – Maybe it’s a caregiver, a friend coming over for dinner, someone dropping off a package, or a stranger. The ability for loved ones to live independently is critical to their well-being, as well as for family and friends having the peace of mind they are safe.

Now, there’s a way for you to see who is at your parent’s / child’s / relative’s door, without opening the door and without being at their home. You can see, hear and speak with visitors from anywhere.

SimplyHome is excited to announce our newest product – the Ring Video Doorbell.  Ring enables family, friends and caregivers to be notified of any activity at an individual’s front door, day or night, and then speak with the visitor.

How?  By using your smartphone!

Watch the product video here. 

When someone arrives at your loved one’s door your phone will display who is there.  You can communicate via the built-in speakers and microphone. Ring connects to a wifi network.



$199 each.

Video saving functionality (optional): $30 per year.

ring product

Motion Detection 

Receive instant alerts when motion is detected or someone rings the doorbell.


Two-way audio

You can speak with whomever is at the door via the video on your smartphone.

Do I need a SimplyHome System to use Ring?

No, you only need a smartphone and wi-fi connection.

Do I need a doorbell to use Ring?

No, Ring has a built-in doorbell.

ring doorbell

Recording capabilities

So you never miss a moment! Share clips with friends, neighbors and law enforcement. Ring has a rechargeable battery, with 6-12 months of battery life.

See who is at your door day or night

day or night

To learn more about Ring and other SimplyHome products, check out our website at or email Customer Service at

‘Smart’ home: Paralyzed in a car accident, student achieves goal of living on his own

Fox Carolina and recently published a story about our friend Johnathan Dodd and his journey for independence. We are so proud of what he has accomplished and where he is going.

Published: Friday, April 8, 2016 at 3:15 a.m.

Like many millennials, Johnathan Dodd has his own apartment.

It’s a small one-bedroom place, but it represents so much more for the 26-year-old Spartanburg County native. It gives him a sense of independence.

If that were all there was to Dodd’s story, it wouldn’t be particularly unique. After all, it’s not unusual for young adults to crave their own living space.

But how Dodd’s duplex apartment in Moore is outfitted to allow him to function on his own and, more importantly, how Dodd came to have a physical disability is an extraordinary tale.

Dodd is bound to a wheelchair, having been paralyzed from the neck down from injuries sustained in an automobile accident nearly nine years ago. He now has the ability to move his hands and arms, which allows him to use an app installed on an iPad to perform everyday tasks in what can be called his “smart” home.

At the touch of the screen, Dodd can open his front door to allow visitors to enter.

Other touch screen options give him the ability to set his thermostat and to turn his lights and television on or off.

“I didn’t realize it was going to be that easy,” Dodd said of the technology-driven Simply Home products that allow him to lead a somewhat normal life. “I was like, ‘Wow, that’s it?’ You just touch (the screen) and it does the rest.”

Dodd is living on his own thanks to the help of the Charles Lea Center, a Spartanburg-based nonprofit agency that provides services to individuals with disabilities and special needs.

As part of its HOMES (Helping Others Manage Environment Safely) program, the staff at the Charles Lea Center worked to install the “smart” technology in Dodd’s apartment and is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week should he need assistance.

With the touch of an icon on an iPad screen — which is mounted to his wheelchair — or a phone call, Dodd can get someone from the Charles Lea Center facility across the street to come help him.

“If it wasn’t for (the Charles Lea Center), I’d probably be in a nursing home,” Dodd said. “They mean a lot because they did a lot. Sure, I just call them when I need them, which may not seem like a lot, but they gave me a lot of independence just by saying, ‘Hey, we’re here if you need us.’ Just that right there has made the biggest difference in my life.”

Dodd still has someone come by the apartment each day to help him with such tasks as eating and bathing, but he spends every night and much of the weekend all by himself.

Before the Charles Lea Center outfitted the apartment with “smart” technology, Dodd had to have someone with him at all times. He said he’s been in the apartment for five years, but he’s only been on his own for the past two.

“Having someone around you 24/7 gets old. It doesn’t matter who it is,” Dodd said. “If there’s always someone there, it gets old, eventually. This is just another step to me being independent. I’ve got to be on my own.”

That Dodd is able to live by himself is a remarkable achievement given what he’s gone through medically. Following the automobile accident that paralyzed him, Dodd has had multiple surgeries related to his neck and stomach. He’s also battled through double pneumonia and survived Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

During a visit to the Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia for surgery a few years ago, Dodd told the staff he wanted them to help him find an apartment in which he could live on his own.

“They said, ‘Oh, you can’t do that.’ And I was like, ‘I’ll show you I can do it. I know I can.’ …. I basically ended up telling them, ‘I’m not leaving here until y’all find me somewhere to stay.’ So, they did. They found me this place.”

Dodd, who grew up in the Campobello area, had just graduated from Chapman High School a couple of weeks earlier when, on the night of June 16, 2007, his life changed forever.

He and some buddies had gone to a dirt track race in North Carolina. It started to rain, causing a delay in the action, and Dodd decided he’d rather go home than wait for the race to resume. He called his girlfriend to come pick him up.

On the way home, the car his girlfriend was driving came upon an unexpected curve and crashed. The car went down an embankment and flipped, leaving Dodd trapped underneath. His girlfriend escaped with minor injuries and was able to get someone to call for help.

An ambulance took Dodd a mile down the road to a church parking lot, where a helicopter was waiting to transport him to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. Even though he couldn’t move his body, he remained conscious through the entire ordeal.

Dodd recalled, “I just kept thinking the whole time, ‘Don’t go to sleep. You’ve got to stay awake. Whatever you do, don’t close your eyes.’” He feared he might not wake up.

In the hospital, he came close to death. To keep his lungs from collapsing, he had to be induced into a coma that lasted nearly a month. After waking up from the coma, he remembers a doctor in the intensive care unit saying, “This is all you’re ever going to be for the rest of your life.”

Dodd continued, “(The doctor) said, ‘You’ll never be able to move anything from your neck down.’ He said, ‘You may be able to shrug your shoulders one day, but that’s it.’

“And this is making me really mad. I’m like, ‘Ugh, this guy doesn’t know who he’s talking to,’ because I know what I’ve done been through just to be here.

“I’ve always been stubborn. I mean, ‘You’re going to tell me I’m not going to do anything? No, I’m going to show you.’”

Dodd’s independent living is proof of his determination. He refuses to take no for an answer.

“Jonathon is a fighter, and not only is he a fighter, he’s an advocate,” said Laconda Moore, who has worked with Dodd for the last year and a half as director of community transitional living for the Charles Lea Center.

“He advocates for himself, and he advocates for others who need support like him. The things he’s gone through and to still have that tenacity to continue on is just admirable. He always says that we help him, but he really inspires and helps us.”

In his home, Dodd is able to live like most anyone else his age. His television is typically tuned to sports, and he’ll sometimes have friends over to watch Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bouts.

He’s a big fan of the University of South Carolina football team, and his bedroom walls are adorned with autographed photos of former Gamecock standouts Connor Shaw, Jadeveon Clowney and Marcus Lattimore, the latter of whom played with his cousin, Chas Dodd, at Byrnes High School.

Dodd said he’s always been into sports and that he played football, wrestled and ran track while at Chapman High School. Not being as physically active as he’d like to be has been an emotional challenge for him.

“Everybody who has something like this happen to them — it doesn’t matter who you are — it’ll really take the wind out of you at the beginning and you’re going to be down,” Dodd said. “But there comes a point where it’s like a V in the road and you’re either going to say, ‘All right, I’m going to stay here, down in the dumps, taking pity on myself or I’m going to go this way, and I’m going to get on with my life and I’m going to make something of myself.’”

And it’s not like Dodd simply whittles away his alone time watching sports and movies. He’s also been taking online courses at Spartanburg Community College.

In the driveway outside his apartment is a van, which is used to take him wherever he wants to go. The decorative tag on the front of the vehicle features the Superman logo, which he also has tattooed on his chest.

“That basically says you’re not going to hold me down. I’m going to figure out a way,” he said.

Looking out the window at the van, Dodd is reminded of another goal he hopes to achieve.

“I’m scheming, I guess you’d say, trying to figure out a plan of how to get another van that I can drive,” he said. “That’s one of my next goals — to drive. If I can drive, that’ll do a lot, too.”

Copyright © 2016 — All rights reserved. Restricted use only.

Select the video below, or click here, to see how SimplyHome technology has helped Johnathan make his choice of independence.


Implementing Technology: How One Provider Moved Past the Residential Supports Waiting List

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 1.44.51 PMMore than 9,000 individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities are on a waiting list for residential supports, with no funding available. As a proactive response to this dilemma, one S.C. provider decided to move toward implementing technology throughout their programs.

Charles Lea Center (CLC): CLC began creating programs with technology in 2010 as an effort to offer people with disabilities an opportunity to develop skills, promote independence and empower people to live in their own homes. Since then, SimplyHome has continued to work with CLC to help them employ and benefit from the efficacy of such technology. In order to provide new independent living options, customized supports were designed for the residents based on each individual’s daily routine and priorities.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 1.44.11 PM

The programs at CLC now offer individual support teams, person-centered planning, technology, remote monitoring (safety, health and security), and specific skills training for individuals and staff.

• Today, 100% of CLC’s programs offer technology & 93% of the clients supported utilize the technology.

6 new programs have been created over the course of 6 years.

• Using technology, CLC is able to provide support for their clients costing approximately $100 per day, per individual. Without technology, this cost would be approximately $200 per day.

• As of March 2016, savings generated through the use of technology has enabled 20 new individuals to be supported by CLC – without any additional state dollars.

• In a recent survey, when CLC residents were asked if they felt safe in their homes, 100% said yes.

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Which SimplyHome Technology Has Been Implemented?

SimplyHome System
• Panic Sensors: Pendants worn by residents, allowing them to push a button requesting help from staff 24/7.

• Motion Sensors: Creates an alert at night if someone leaves their bed and does not return within a specific amount of time.

• Door/Window Sensors: Placed on all exterior doors and bedroom windows to notify staff of entry/exit during day and night hours.

• Water Sensors: Alerts 24/7 and typically used in the bathroom to alert in case of water overflowing.

• Cameras: One camera is located in a common area to help responding staff triage an issue or alert before they are on-site.

• Medication Dispensers: Can dispense medication up to four times per day at customizable times.

SimplyHome Environmental Controls
• Integrated Tablets & Mounts: Assists in managing the temperature of the residence, doors, TV, and lights. Through various available interfaces, individuals control their environment by using the touch screen, voice activation or a switch.

Phone Paging System & Response Center
• Phone Paging System: To create the fastest response and best overall experience, CLC uses our two-way voice paging system in each room of the home via the resident’s telephone. Remote staff can instantly talk with a resident with the push of a button, without the individual having to answer the phone. Should the individual get out of bed and not return, or call for help, the responding staff can have open communication in a matter of seconds.

• Response Center: Staff members are utilized as a team of responders for alerts generated by sensor activity. The staff have two response cell phones and a computer on-site dedicated to monitoring and following-up on the alerts.