Kelvin’s Smart Home

Kelvin shares ownership of his home with two other housemates. After both of his housemates began using smart home technology, he became curious about it. He has low vision and a physical disability, and as he is getting older he worries about falling and not having a way to call for help if an attendant isn’t nearby.

Kelvin’s Goals

  1. Calling for help in an emergency
  2. Increase independence at home
A black man sits in the foreground with a slight smile and stares off toward a window. Behind him on a desk is a smart speaker which has lit up. The man is seated in a power wheelchair with his hands in his lap. He has a mustache and greying hair, and he is wearing a plaid short-sleeved shirt.
Kelvin listens to a podcast recommended by his smart speaker.

Kelvin chose to install:

  • A smart speaker in his bedroom (an Amazon Echo Dot)

Kelvin learned that his housemates were using their speakers to make phone calls, and that the speakers were sensitive enough to pick up on a person’s voice from anywhere in the room. When he got his smart speaker, his attendants helped him program it so he can make phone calls to his attendants, his dad, or to emergency services using just his voice.

Kelvin uses his speaker every day, and it has broadened his world. He has discovered podcasts and listens to a wider variety of audiobooks than he had access to through the library. He calls his dad regularly to check on him and catches up with friends and family via phone. And, his speaker can hear him easily which gives Kelvin a greater feeling of security in case of an emergency.

“It gives me more independence – since I’ve lost my vision, I use [my Echo Dot] to listen to podcasts and music, call my dad, check the time or what the weather is,” says Kelvin.


The Importance of Your Support Team

Kelvin received his first smart speaker as a gift. It was a different brand than the devices his housemates were using, but had the functionality Kelvin needed to help him reach his goals – and it was free!

However, soon after it was installed the device stopped working. Neither Kelvin nor his housemates or attendants could figure out what was wrong. Kelvin decided to purchase the same kind of speaker his housemates use instead. Now when there is an issue, his attendants and housemates are able to help him fix it.


Learn more about how to choose, fund, and install your own smart home technology and build a team for support with our new guide, Smart Homes Made Simple: Your Guide to Smart Home Technology!