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Remote Supports and Supporting Technologies

Remote supports (RS) are the use of technology to remotely support a service recipient in place of physical staff presence.  Technology allows a remotely located person to monitor the health and safety of the individual without being physically present at the same location. Communication with the remote supports staff is through phone calls or video chat.  Emergency response staff is sent to the home or worksite when needed for in-person assistance.  

Remote supports are used to promote the service recipient’s independence and increase self-determination.  Services are provided in community-based settings in a manner contributing to the service recipient's independence, self-sufficiency, community inclusion and well-being.

To be eligible for the program, the service recipient must live in his or her own home or in a daily living support (DLS) home.  Service recipients that live in a family home can use remote supports when they are alone in the home.  Remote supports can also be accessed in employment settings where the service recipient is receiving job coaching, center-based or community-based services.

A service recipient can use a mixture of remote supports and in-person supports to meet their needs – but not simultaneously.  Remote supports can be increased over time as the service recipient becomes more comfortable or decreased when needed.  

Please contact Miranda Hutchison at Miranda.hutchison@okdhs.org for questions regarding remote supports.

Note: Remote supports cannot be initiated without prior approval from Miranda Hutchison.

“For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier.  For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible.” – IBM Training Manual 1991

Remote Support Providers and Supporting Technology Websites

Remote Support Providers and Supporting Technology Brochures and YouTube

“I wanted the opportunity to become a man.” – Justin, DDS service recipient

Justin is one of more than 8,100 individuals with disabilities served by DDS and its community partners. Central State Community Services of Oklahoma (CSCSO) is among many DDS partners providing home and community-based services to individuals with disabilities through supported living services including habilitation training, transportation services and employment.

Justin benefited from DDS supports for several years and was receiving services through CSCSO while living in a residential home in Tulsa County. He had two roommates, but he really wanted to live on his own.

“Justin did not want roommates,” said Dada Mboh, CSCSO Senior Support Coordinator. “We really wanted to help him get his own place and achieve his goal of independence.”

Through the support of his team, Justin was able to move into his own apartment and receive eight hours per day of in-person support services. While receiving that valuable support, Justin decided he wanted to be even less dependent on staff. Justin’s guardian, his brother John, was well aware of Justin’s desire to live on his own with as little assistance as possible. To find the best pathway to make Justin’s dream of independence become reality, John and Justin worked with the provider and case manager to develop a plan and implement it.

“I wanted the opportunity to become a man,” said Justin.

In late March 2020, DDS received approval to use what are called “remote supports” through a temporary emergency approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Remote supports include the use of cell phones and

video conferencing to remotely support an individual instead of providing in-person support by provider staff. Justin quickly chose the option to receive remote supports via phone or online.

“My brother Justin is fiercely independent and sets challenging goals for himself,” said John. “DDS and CSCSO have provided critical support to ensure financial, medical and social stability for Justin which has allowed him to flourish and achieve many life goals in a short period of time.”

In just 18 months, Justin successfully transitioned to his own apartment, completed driver training, received a driver’s license and was hired by a local home improvement center.

“The stability and mentoring from DDS and CSCSO, coupled with Justin’s ambition and positive attitude, have made all his achievements possible,” said John.

Justin says he feels like he is his “own man” now. He still receives weekly in-person visits from staff, but the visits are dictated by Justin, not by his provider. And if he feels like he needs immediate assistance, his staff at CSCSO are just a phone call or video chat away.

“Justin inspires me,” said Dada. “He is an amazing man.”

Justin continues his impressive pace to become increasingly independent. His next goal is to become his own representative payee, which means he would manage his social security benefits to meet his current and future financial needs.

Justin, John, Dada and DDS. Another example of a mighty team working together to help make a dream come true.

Last Modified on May 10, 2021
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