Challenge #1: Limited Resources
One of the major obstacles that providers of intellectual disability services face in adopting enabling technology is the limitation of resources. Due to tight budgets, these organizations often struggle to invest in technology solutions. The cost involved in implementing and maintaining such solutions can be a significant barrier for them.
On a positive note, the impact of 2020 has highlighted the need for remote monitoring solutions, especially with the current staffing shortage. As a result, many states are now prioritizing efforts to incorporate enabling technology into their budgets and waivers.
However, until enabling tech becomes a common inclusion in state budgets and waivers, there are still a few options available to secure funding for your provider organization like state and federal grants that specifically support enabling technology initiatives.
Challenge #2: Limited Awareness and Training in Enabling Technology
Another challenge faced by providers in the intellectual disability services sector is a lack of awareness about the available technology solutions and the potential benefits they can bring.
Many providers may not have the knowledge or expertise to evaluate and select the right technology for their specific needs. However, there is positive progress in this area.
States and Managed Care Organizations are actively working to improve their communication efforts and educate providers about the benefits of enabling technology by increasing tech-centered email communications, implementing training programs, and developing internal and external websites and resources to distribute critical information. These resources also include approved vendors who can assist providers in their search for suitable technology solutions.
Despite these efforts, there is still a knowledge gap between the implementation of enabling technology and its adoption by providers. This is where a reliable enabling technology vendor or partner can make a difference. Enabling technology vendors can provide hands-on training, offer resources to help providers access their technology solutions, and offer guidance to increase adoption.
Additionally, they should have a dedicated support team in place to assist providers in overcoming any challenges they may face, ensuring that they get the maximum benefit from their technology solutions throughout the entire term.
Challenge #3: Resistance to Change/Fear of Technology.
The disability services sector has traditionally relied on manual processes and face-to-face interactions. There may be resistance to adopting technology due to concerns about job security, fear of the unknown, or a preference for familiar methods of service delivery.
To address this, let us share our guiding principle with our valued clients…
While technology is a powerful tool in the IDD and TBI sectors, it will never replace the essential role of human support. We want to emphasize this point.
In reality, there may be a brief “ET learning curve” as you familiarize yourself with the new technology, but rest assured, it won’t take more than a few days before you surpass your previous level of operation. (You may even find yourself wondering, “Why didn’t we embrace this sooner?”)
In conclusion, to overcome the challenges posed by enabling technology, it is crucial for providers of intellectual disability services to receive the necessary support and guidance in fully understanding the benefits it brings. Providers should have access to funding, comprehensive training resources, and expert guidance on how to successfully adopt and integrate these innovative solutions.
Remember, this process is an evolution! Collaboration between service providers, technology providers, industry associations, and government agencies plays a significant role in driving the widespread adoption of enabling technology in this sector.
If you’re new to enabling technology and need assistance navigating the process, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced team at 317.728.6670. We’re here to help!