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The Viscardi Center

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The Viscardi Center
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Impactful living center champions the Heath & Wellness Home of the Year in the Crestron Home Tech Awards.

The Viscardi Center, located in Albertson, New York, is dedicated to championing the cause of the 61 million Americans with disabilities, ensuring they have equal opportunities in education, employment, and community participation. With over 70 years of service, the center offers a diverse range of more than 15 programs and services, collaborating with over 400 local and national employers and partners to fulfill its mission.

The challenge

It was important for The Viscardi Center Independent Living House to use its facilities to support its unwavering commitment to enhancing accessibility and inclusivity for the communities it serves. The aim was to create an environment where every individual, regardless of their physical abilities, could seamlessly utilize the resources available and leverage the added technology. The Independent Living House’s vision encompassed a holistic approach to technology implementation, emphasizing inclusivity, sustainability, educational enrichment, and user-friendliness, which are at the heart of The Viscardi Center's mission.

The solution

The team at The Viscardi Center collaborated with Path Audio Visual, Inc., to enhance the technological capabilities within the Independent Living House. The partnership saw the deployment of a comprehensive Crestron system, which included a Crestron Control system that is complemented by Crestron touch screens, Crestron handheld remotes, and Crestron sensors. These integrated solutions were carefully chosen to ensure that guests, regardless of their disabilities, could interact effectively and efficiently with the technology around them.

The technology

The Independent Living House embarked on a series of technology-driven improvements to enhance its facilities for the staff and students who stay there. The home can comfortably sleep six students and two staff members. The residence has many features in the bedrooms, living areas, and kitchen to ensure the students have full access to the various technologies deployed within the living environment. Each room has a Crestron touch screen, a hand-held remote, and voice control to manage the technology in the space. Using voice to control the Crestron lights, shades, thermostats, the audiovisual system, and the TV lift made the entire system that much more accessible. This innovative system not only provides greater energy efficiency but also allows for customizable lighting configurations to suit different needs and preferences.

Every detail of the center was designed with accessibility in mind to create the best experience for guests. Crestron Cameo® keypads were installed in the Independent Living House as the button's tactile feel makes it easy for the residents to adjust the lighting and shades accurately. Different scenes, such as high and low dimming and shade levels, are set up on the keypads to create a welcoming atmosphere for the residents. Each space in the home includes occupancy sensors to enable the lights to turn on automatically when someone enters. The staff can also control the sensors in each room to detect occupancy and vacancy.

In addition to the lighting system, Crestron motorized shades are also present in the home, offering enhanced control over natural light. This enables students and staff to easily adjust the brightness level within various spaces, contributing to a more comfortable and adaptable environment. Simultaneously, the incorporation of Crestron thermostats was part of the comprehensive upgrade. These thermostats and remotely located temperature sensors allow for precise climate control, ensuring that temperature settings can be adjusted to meet individual comfort requirements and improve energy management throughout the center.

The common area also leveraged technology to improve the experience. A motorized TV mount above the fireplace, controlled by Crestron, enables adjustable TV height and angle for wheelchair-friendly viewing, which was pivotal in making the center's facilities more accessible. This feature ensured that all students, regardless of their mobility challenges, could enjoy an optimal viewing experience, promoting inclusivity and equity in educational settings. Students can select different viewing angles of the motorized TV mount to pivot the TV toward the living room or the kitchen to follow along with cooking instructions to create their meals. The kitchen includes the unique feature of a motorized stove, sink, and countertops for all students to use as they please.

Moreover, the installation of Crestron ceiling-mounted speakers improved the audio quality within the facility. This was particularly beneficial for multimedia presentations, educational programs, and events, enhancing the overall auditory experience for everyone at The Viscardi Center Independent Living House.

The results

The results of the comprehensive technology integration at The Viscardi Center were nothing short of transformative. The organization is at the forefront of efforts to create a more accessible, inclusive, and fair world for individuals with disabilities, and the addition of Crestron solutions aligned perfectly, equipping their center to provide equal opportunities and a higher quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

“This installation was very special to me. It was heartwarming to help create a luxurious space for the kids that utilize the home. Crestron was the perfect partner to work with in this space due to the vast solutions and integration options to choose from,” says Michael Russo, CEO, Path Audio Visual.