What Makes NHS/AVS Unique?


Assistive Technology:

In 2013, NHS confirmed its commitment to equal rights of people with cognitive disabilities to technology and information access. Since that time, NHS has embarked on numerous assistive technology initiatives that promote independence and increase access to care, promote wellness and improve clinical outcomes and foster new delivery mechanisms. Several of these initiatives have been led by demonstration projects at NHS/AVS.

The assistive technology projects include: communication technology which enables more than 300 individuals to safely utilize the internet and email; Smart Homes that promote greater independence; remote patient support; telepsychiatry; and measuring biometrics at a kiosk. As the landscape of healthcare continues to evolve, NHS will continue to pursue telehealth and assistive technology solutions that hold the promise to change the current paradigm of care to provide for improved access and improved health outcomes in cost effective ways.

The development of the Assistive Technology Program has been made possible through the generosity of our contributors.


Memory Care Program:

Supporting “aging in place” is one of NHS/AVS’s goals; this can be a challenge when Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or another form of dementia (D) strikes. As we started seeing more cases of AD/D, we became concerned about the impact on individuals, their families and friends, and caregivers. To address this concern, we concentrated on developing a memory care program which launched in 2014, after receiving significant input from families, staff and other experts in the field.

A centerpiece of the program is a Memory Care Home on our Pittsburgh Campus. Other project components include enhanced systems for screening, diagnosing and tracking the progression of AD/D; special programming provided within residences; and comprehensive staff training. The development of the Memory Care Program has been made possible through the generosity of our contributors.

The development of the Memory Care Program has been made possible through the generosity of our contributors.


Sensory Program:

Since 2003, NHS/AVS has devoted significant resources to the development and implementation of a Sensory Program specifically geared toward individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The NHS/AVS Sensory Development Program is a comprehensive tool that is designed to identify the characteristics of an individual’s sensory processing, and guide the development and implementation of sensory-based interventions and programming.

NHS/AVS incorporates sensory into all aspects of its programs. Sensory environments include gardens and specialized rooms; the sensory program is also incorporated into NHS/AVS’s aquatics and dental programs. The development of the Sensory Program has been made possible through the generosity of our contributors.

The copyrighted NHS/AVS Sensory Development Program is available for purchase through the following vendors: TFH and Southpaw

The development of the Sensory Program has been made possible through the generosity of our contributors.

Dental Care:

Using a sensory adapted dental environment (SADE), we are decreasing levels of anxiety and stress exhibited by children and adults with severe and profound intellectual and developmental disabilities during routine dental care.

At the Patricia Hillman Miller and Pittsburgh Campuses, NHS/AVS has implemented a sensory adapted dental environment (SADE). Bringing the sensory program into the dental suite has helped to decrease the level of anxiety and stress exhibited during routine dental care.

The development of the Sensory Dental Program has been made possible through the generosity of our contributors.