What is an Enabling Technology Specialist and What Do They Do in a Provider Organization?

Provider agencies are hiring Enabling Technology Specialists for people with intellectual disabilities.

As of late, we are seeing more and more provider organizations who are struggling with staffing shortages making the move to hire in-house Enabling Technology Specialists. There are a couple of driving factors behind this:

a.) Provider organizations are beginning to truly grasp the key role in which enabling technology plays in reducing costs;
b.) Provider organizations are utilizing it to help staff save time on a daily basis through automation;
c.) They are utilizing the ETS to help lighten the workload of in-home care coordinators/DSPs in a niche area of expertise.

So what does the role of the Enabling Technology Specialist look like within a provider agency?

Enabling Technology Specialist Responsibilities

1.) Assessing the needs of the individual.
Often times, Enabling Technology Specialists sit in on meetings with the individual’s care team and technology vendors to listen in for challenges experienced by the individual that enabling technology can help them overcome. In reporting, they can work with the vendors to lay out the benefits and risks involved with different technologies to help the individual and team make informed decisions on which solution is best.

2.) Training, support and education.
Enabling Technology Specialists are generally trained by technology vendors on all solutions that are offered to the people they serve. While enabling tech providers should always be there to support the Enabling Technology Specialist, the Enabling Technology Specialist is the point person for the organization and relieves in-home coordinators and DSPs of the role of technology training, troubleshooting, and continuing education.

3.) Implementation of technology.
Enabling Technology Specialists oversee the implementation process to ensure that the individual served and their support staff understand the technology and fully adopt it through routine check-ins and usage assessments.

4.) Monitoring enabling technology usage and reporting to care team.
While sometimes DSPs and in-home coordinators monitor technology usage, often times organizations will utilize their Enabling Technology Specialist to monitor enabling technology dashboard data to analyze the individuals progress and/or setbacks. In these instances, the ETS will alert care team members of possible actions that need to be taken in regards to the individual served.

5.) Maintenance of the technology.
Technology typically evolves; therefore, leaving critical technology updates that need to be performed.
Enabling technologist are the point-of-contact for technology vendors’ update alerts. They gather necessary information from vendors to push out to those in need of updates.

Another key component to maintaining technology is to evaluate both current and new technologies on an annual basis; ensuring that the organization stays up-to-date with new solutions that serve the unique needs of the people they serve. This requires as ETS to actively attend events, research and request demos from new vendors and/or new solutions.

6.) Assessing the outcomes of enabling technology.
The Enabling Technology Specialist will regularly revisit the goals of the individual served and assess the effectiveness of the technology’s role in reaching their goals. They assess whether or not the technology is improving their quality of life and collect feedback from stakeholders to make necessary adjustments that will enhance outcomes.

With over 20 years of experience working with providers for people with intellectual disabilities, the CreateAbility team prides themselves in serving as your enabling technology partner. (Not just a technology vendor!) Whether you are new to enabling technology who needs assistance getting started – or a seasoned pro with a few niche questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at (317) 728-6670 or emails us by clicking here.

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