HARRISBURG – Montgomery County Rep. Joe Ciresi plans to introduce legislation to help persons with disabilities. Equipped with voice-activated features, plenty of maneuverability for wheelchairs, and small robots that can feed people and offer remote monitoring, a “SMART home” in West Pottsgrove Township opened its doors to Ciresi and Rep. Joe Webster for a tour of its facility. Joined by staff from PA Department of Human Services and service provider KenCrest, Ciresi and Webster met with advocates and service providers for the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities community to discuss how SMART homes can help more people with disabilities live independently. Ciresi said the technology can be cost-prohibitive. For example, a device that can assist with eating independently costs about $8,600, and under current PA law, there is an individual lifetime cap of $10,000 for assistive technology purchases which is not enough money to help someone live independently. Ciresi said we need to change the current law to make assistive living technology more affordable so those with disabilities can live on their own during a time when there is a critical home care worker shortage. Either through legislation or changes to administrative directives, Ciresi is looking to raise the lifetime cap for assistive technology. His legislation is currently in the early drafting phase and will be introduced in the PA House in the coming months.