Benefits for the user
The BlueAssist encourages the client to connect with others and ask for help. Despite months of training Sofie, one of the clients of Ithaka, could not learn where to get off the bus. In a system where one is always told what to do, one loses any sense of taking initiatives and does not even remember things. Don’t you have problems remembering how to drive to a destination since you are using a GPS?! Using BlueAssist and asking the bus driver to give her a sign when they reached the right bus stop, she learned it. Now she is taking the bus by her own going from her house to the day care center and from there to all the other places she must go for her daily activities.
Hans, another Cloudina user, takes the train from Ostend to Leuven over a distance of about 150 km (90 miles).
They are now more independent and do not have to wait till someone is available to accompany them during their travel.
Better integration in the society
Sofie, Hans and other users of Cloudina are now more often in the streets of their and other cities. They are now visibly part of their community. The more not-disabled people see people with disabilities in the streets, the more they get used to it and the better know how to treat and help them if they have a question. The society becomes more and more inclusive.
Peace of mind and better day structure
People who cannot read the clock don’t know when they must do something or go somewhere. As a result many of them just miss their appointments. Other gets nervous and ask others all the time if it was time for them to get ready. The time indication of the Cloudina app by means of blocks makes it clear for the users whether or not the appointment is about to start. It warns the users when the time is reached. This gives the users peace of mind and avoids tension with others.
It can happen that a client gets lost or thinks that he/she is lost and doesn’t know what to do. The easy-to-use Telephone app of Cloudina enables the users to call the coach and ask for help. If the users cannot explain where they are at that moment, they can send their GPS location to the coach by tapping the Globe button on their phone. If in a stress situation they don’t manage to do that, the coach can take initiative and locate the client. Being able to call for help and knowing that they can always be found gives the clients more confidence and courage to go out by themselves.
(In order to be able to locate a client, the coach should have permission which is set in our system).
Many clients can only perform a task when they have a step by step plan. Some need to be reminded what they were supposed to do. Pictures of the activities can be saved in separate albums of the Cloudina Album app. The users can consult those albums if they need support in doing their task. Some Cloudina users have a job or do their own shopping independently using those albums.
Many people with intellectual disabilities have been told for years that they could not do anything by themselves and that they always needed somebody to guide them all the time. In many cases Cloudina has proven that not to be true. With a little bit of technological support and some belief in their ability they are capable of doing many things. Cloudina has offered its users a much higher self-esteem and a better quality of life.