Nation’s First Smart-Tech Trial-Basis Apartments For People With Developmental Disabilities

People with developmental disabilities who are ready to live more independently now have an innovative new housing option in Lakewood from the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Cuyahoga DD) and North Coast Community Homes (NCCH).

TryTech at the Cranford Apartments in the heart of Lakewood offers a unique opportunity for people with developmental disabilities (DD) to live in a smart apartment in an integrated building on a short-term lease, to try tools and technology they might want to use in their future daily home life for mealtimes, entertainment, security, wellbeing and self-care, and more.

This trial housing option provides an immersive independent-living experience for people with DD to gain confidence and determine what technology works best for them as they move toward living as independently as they want.

Nationwide, about 76% of adults with Developmental Disabilities live at home; in a quarter of those homes, the family caregiver is older than 60 (Family Caregiver Alliance). Creative housing options like TryTech are vital as the Boomer generation ages and the lifespan of people with DD increases.

Renters can live in a TryTech apartment for several weeks, during and after which their Cuyahoga DD Support Administrators and Assistive Technology staff will assess their needs and determine next steps for achieving the goal of independent living.

“We are extremely proud to launch the TryTech apartments,” said Cuyahoga DD Superintendent and CEO Kelly Petty. “It is a unique opportunity for people with developmental disabilities to experience independent living in an integrated building. TryTech is another step toward our goal of community inclusion for people with DD.”

To adapt the four units into safe and comfortable apartments for people with DD – including one accessible unit – Cuyahoga DD turned to North Coast Community Homes, an organization with decades of experience in fulfilling the housing needs of people with disabilities.

“This project aligned with our organizational goal: to serve people with developmental and other disabilities who want to live independently,” said Chris West, CEO of North Coast Community Homes. “We are pleased to have shared our experience developing safe and comfortable housing options for people with disabilities, and we hope that TryTech residents lead lives of even greater dignity, self-expression and connection as a result.”

For more about TryTech, visit

Lynn B. Johnson, MFA is the Communications Administrator for Cuyahoga DD.

Lynn B. Johnson, MFA

Lynn B. Johnson, MFA is the Communications Administrator for Cuyahoga DD.

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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022