Smart move for start-up in smart accessible technology

Smart technology has improved our lives in ways that were unimaginable a decade ago. Consider all the automated solutions available for the home. 

Integrated systems such as Amazon Alexa and Google Nest are empowering people with disabilities to have a level of greater independence.

Innogreen technologies – innovative solutions

Christie Edwards and Frank Pinder work for Innogreen Technologies – a new start-up in Perth offering affordable smart accessible technology solutions to people with disabilities. Both came to their new roles via VisAbility’s Disability Employment Services (DES).

 

Six staff memebers of Innogreen Technologies stand next to a banner in front of a home
Christie and Frank with four other employees at Innogreen Technologies

Frank and Christie make up a quarter of the workforce, as Sales Director Sam Lane explains.

“We have just eight employees. Frank and Christie are both good at relationship building with our clients. They know all about the NDIS and how it works.”

Sam Lane, Sales Director, Innogreen Technologies

“Of course, having experience of living with a disability and knowing first-hand about challenges that people face is a benefit as well.”

Frank – smart with accessible technology

Frank is confident and a natural at explaining how smart systems operate. At 20, he’s a bit of a technology geek and a whizz at computers and smartphones. Frank broke his back when he was fifteen and still at school, and uses a wheelchair for mobility.

“My fractures were complex. I spent three months on my back in rehabilitation.”

He became more involved in sports after his accident. Now he’s a keen wheelchair basketball player. Frank has a digital art qualification and this role appealed to him because it’s technology focused.

Frank sits in his wheelchair on driveway in front of a house
Frank loves his technology so is a natural fit for this role

“I’ll go out on-site and offer training in Google Nest and other smart systems. It’s a diverse role – I am constantly multi-tasking.”

Frank Pinder, Customer Support, Innogreen Technologies

Many clients that Frank meets have physical disabilities, but some have intellectual disabilities as well.

“I have one client who is paralysed from the neck down, so uses a device in his mouth. By moving his tongue, he’s able to send instructions to his Google Home to close or open the window blinds.”

Christie – Innogreen Customer Service Officer

Working alongside Frank is Christie, who is 22. Her role is to book appointments and liaise with clients and therapists.

Christie’s path to finding a job wasn’t straightforward. She has a rare genetic condition that affects only 13 people in Western Australia.

“I have rheumatoid arthritis in my eyes which has left me legally blind. I started noticing it when I was five, and by 16, I had a prosthetic eye. I’d always wanted to work with children in daycare. I started an internship in daycare, but with low vision, it was tricky.”

Christie sits around a table in a garden area with plant on table surface
Christie enjoys her role and the daily interaction with clients

Christie started using VisAbility’s services a year ago. She took Braille classes, had some white cane training, and enjoyed assistive technology sessions.

“My confidence grew, and as a result, I felt more capable as an individual. I met with VisAbility’s Disability Employment Services team. It was Qonrad who found the position for me at Innogreen.”

Christie enjoys being part of a team and as Customer Service Officer, she helps people to understand the way the systems work. There are many reasons why Christie enjoys the work. Of course, it’s not just the salary.

“It’s very easy to sit at home and do nothing. A job gives you focus, structure and in addition, I feel good knowing I’m helping other people with disabilities.”

Christie Edwards, Customer Service Officer, Innogreen Technologies

Christie enjoys chatting with older clients who may need greater reassurance than others about understanding smart home systems.

Smarter way of thinking

All the systems marketed and sold through Innogreen Technologies (link opens in new window) are relatively simple to use. Because they cost under $1500, they fall under the NDIS Core Support Budget in Consumables (link opens in new window).

Frank and Christie stand next to a smart television
Smart home solutions are becoming ever more popular

Director Arian Gorjy says the business is doing well and hopes to offer more job opportunities in the future.

The company now partners with specialist disability accommodation providers. It sees growth in this area – providing smart accessible technology.

“Therapists like what we do because we’re transparent. We’re enabling others to live on their own. The products are available through the NDIS and are low cost but make such a difference.”

If you would like to find out more about our Disability Employment Services, contact VisAbility today.

We provide support from helping with a resume to advising on interview techniques, to help you get the job you’ve always wanted. We offer a truly individual approach and will advocate on your behalf so you find the right role.