Since the early 1990s, The Ohio State University Nisonger Center has been home to one of Ohio’s Toy & Technology Lending Libraries (T&TL). With support from an occupational therapist, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families were able to explore and discover augmentative communication devices, adapted toys, and other assistive technologies that best met their needs and supported development before purchasing.

In recent years, technological advances have outpaced our wildest dreams and Nisonger Center’s experience with technology benefiting people with IDD has expanded beyond the lending library. Understanding the increasing needs of Ohioans with IDD and the rapid advancement of technology, we have reimagined the space formerly known as the T&TL into the Smart Home Discovery Place (SHDP).

With support from The Columbus Foundation, AT Ohio, Knights of Columbus – St. Brigid of Kildare, and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s IT team; this new and exciting mock-home one-bedroom apartment will be complete with furnishings and appliances that provide a unique opportunity to explore and discover the benefits of cutting-edge and innovative technologies in the home and how these technologies can enhance one’s independence, self-determination, and overall quality of life. The SHDP will showcase diverse technologies in a practical and hands-on environment where visitors will be able to touch, explore, and learn.

Starting in March 2020, the SHDP will be accessible to anyone who wishes to visit, in person or virtually, and explore these technologies at no cost. Visitors will participate in interactive tours meant to paint a vision for how the use of technology in their own homes may help someone with IDD live a more self- determined life.

If you’re interested in being one of the first to tour this space, contact Jordan Wagner at 614-688-3155 or