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Bruce is living life to the fullest, being as independent as possible in his own home and enjoying the outdoors.

The Assistive Technology and Home Modification Program has been providing assistance to those in need of home accessibility, modifications or adaptive equipment. These needs vary but the following is an account of one success story that took nearly a year to come to fruition.

Bruce is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys fishing and hunting and is a hard worker who lives independently in his own home with some assistance from his wife Cyndi. Being independent is something that Bruce takes pride in and despite his disability he has persevered through modifications and adaptations that allow him to participate in physical activities and live a life of independence.

When Kevin, the CLASS Assistive Technology Program Coordinator first met Bruce he was a consumer living in Westmoreland County and receiving services from the Act 150 waiver program for attendant care. Bruce was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis with conditions that continued to worsen over the past four years. Since Bruce had been working at the time of his diagnosis nearly six years ago, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) put in an accessible bathroom for him. Sadly, the contractor that was used was not good. The workmanship and materials were poor which led to the tiles breaking, allowing water to soak into the subfloor. This eventually rotted the subfloor and some floor joists in the room. Since Bruce was no longer working, due to difficulties stemming from his multiple sclerosis—this absence of work meant that OVR would not pay for any repairs.

Kevin first began by working with a service coordinator to have Bruce moved from the Act 150 Waiver to the Independence Waiver. The Act 150 waiver did not suit Bruce’s situation at the time since he was unemployed. Bruce required additional attendant care hours as a result of his disability progressing and the Act 150 Waiver would not allow for home modifications to be done to his bathroom.

Once Bruce was approved under the Independence Waiver, Kevin was able to go in and do a thorough home assessment. After some time, the Office of Long Term Living (OLTL) approved the modification but the issues with the bathroom had deteriorated severely.

Kevin immediately contacted a contractor that was registered with the state’s attorney general website for HICPA (home improvement consumer protection act) to bid on the work and it was immediately submitted to the OLTL for approval.

After some issues with paperwork and delays in getting the budget approved, work was finally ready to begin on Bruce’s bathroom. The contractor was able to complete the job in one week. Bruce was able to gain even more independence as a result of the newly accessible bathroom. Having the ability to take care of his own personal care is something that is very important to Bruce. He is very appreciative of Kevin’s support through the entire process and is thankful for the increased services he now receives through the Independence Waiver. Bruce is living life to the fullest as he continues to be as independent as possible both in his own home and while enjoying the outdoors.