If you’re someone who spends most of your day in a wheelchair, the idea of controlling your home environment via your wheelchair might sound too good to be true… But thanks to clever advances in assistive technology and rehabilitation engineering, it’s now possible.

At Sana Living we are all about creating greater independence and control for those with a disability living in any of our properties. So, when the opportunity came to test out this remarkable technology in one of our homes, we couldn’t wait to see how it works.

Using a powered wheelchair kindly on loan to us from Motum, (a therapist owned company that specialises in equipment for individuals with complex needs), we were able to synchronize the majority of the assistive technology in the home utilising bluetooth and infrared capabilities, with a joystick on the arm of the wheelchair.

The home automation system in our 3-bedroom property in Wanneroo has been installed by Legrand Netatmo; a global specialist in products and systems for digital building installations. Any feature of the home connected to the Legrand control centre (an iPad on the wall), can be controlled by individuals in their chairs.

So, while features such as blinds, lights, bedroom doors and air-conditioning are already voice or app activated, the wheelchair can be programmed to interact with the main system so that the wheelchair user can turn off, on, up and down as they choose. Users can even turn on the television, change the channel and control the volume.

Watch the video below to see the chair interacting with the home’s flat screen tv.

For our WA Tenancy Manager Tara, seeing how it works was only part of the excitement. Having recently allocated the home to three NDIS participants, knowing it will create opportunities for them to live more independently in their own home makes this technology more exciting.

Even more amazing, is that this technology isn’t limited to a wheelchair joystick! For wheelchairs users unable to operate a joystick, the technology is being engineered to work using head switch movements, sip and puff technology. Stay tuned for more on that in the future.

If you think you or someone you know could be eligible for Sana Living disability accommodation and have access to assistive technologies like this in their home – get in touch.