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Congratulations to Portland College for their outstanding achievement as winners of the Innovative Use of Technology award at the NATSPEC Innovation Awards!

As the official sponsors of this award, we at teamSOS were honoured to have very own CEO, Bridget McGinley, present at the event to announce the winners yesterday. Portland’s achievement in their Maples SMARTHome Project truly exemplifies innovative use of technology, enriching the college experience for learners.

The judging panel was impressed by the project’s ability to enhance independent living for young people who often face barriers due to the lack of accessible homes. The Maples SMARTHome project is a result of the collaborative efforts of a dedicated team of cross-departmental staff who possess extensive skills and knowledge in technology. Through this project, Portland aims to remove barriers and empower individuals through innovative technology solutions. In the first phase of the Maples SMARTHome trial, voice-activated technology has been utilised to enable users to make simple adaptations to their homes, promoting independence. By linking key features to voice assistants like Alexa and Bixby, learners can control various elements of daily living, such as setting reminders for appointments, managing medication, and even engaging in well-being exercises. Accessing the bungalow regularly provides learners with opportunities to develop a wide range of skills while also supporting their health and well-being through tailored experiences. From receiving weather advice to ensuring appropriate clothing choices to reminders for meal and bedtimes, the Maples SMARTHome offers a comprehensive solution.

We extend our warmest congratulations to Portland for their well-deserved success in the NATSPEC Innovation Awards. Your dedication to innovation and commitment to empowering learners is truly commendable!