After United States Marine Corps veteran Jason Ross returned from his first tour in Japan, he reenlisted in a new field – explosive ordinance disposal (EOD).
Through vigorous training, Jason became an EOD specialist and was deployed to Afghanistan twice, putting his life on the line every day to protect his country’s freedom.
In March 2011, Jason stepped on an improvised explosive device, losing both of his legs and part of his pelvic bone.
The Gary Sinise Foundation learned about Jason’s misfortune and honoured him and his two daughters with a customised smart home through the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program.
“Working with the entire Ross family was a great experience,” says Judith Otter, executive director of the Gary Sinise Foundation.
“The level of excitement we received from the entire multi-generational family while we went through the process from design to turnover was amazing.”
The Fallbrook, California home was developed with Jason’s mobility and usability at the forefront of the design.
“The goal was to give Jason accessibility to his entire house, making sure that there was plenty of room for him to move about in his Paramobile while allowing his service dogs to always travel by his side,” Judith adds.
When designing the home, contractors from MLA General Contractors and technology integrators from eHome Lifestyle made a variety of distinct modifications to make Jason’s daily life as easy as possible.
The home comes equipped with smooth flooring, allowing Jason’s Paramobile to glide with ease, eliminating steps and split levels in and around the entire house.
What’s more, an ELAN entertainment and control system was installed so Jason can operate the motorised shades, thermostat, security system, multi-room audio, lighting and entertainment system through two ELAN gTP7 in-wall touch panels, an ELAN gHR200 remote, plus an App on his iPhone or iPad.
“Our goal was to make it as easy as possible for Jason to operate his entire house from one location,” system designer at eHome Lifestyle Matt Kindle notes.
“It was important for us to provide Jason with this whole-home control through ELAN, so he doesn’t have to strap into his Paramobile to complete minuscule tasks like turning off lights, locking the door or changing the thermostat.”
The home comes outfitted with a 55in Sony LED TV in the master bedroom, keeping Jason entertained with a connected Apple TV, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, all controlled by ELAN and accessible through the ELAN interfaces.
Q Motion motorised window shades were also incorporated into the bedroom to allow Jason to open and close the blinds with the touch of a button.
“To make it even easier, we specially programmed a ‘goodnight’ button on Jason’s ELAN system,” Matt adds.
“When this button is pushed, all of the lights and electronics turn off; the main doors lock; and the bedroom shades are lowered.”
ELAN recently released its 7.2 software upgrade, allowing Matt and his team to install the new ELAN Intercom, further fulfilling Jason’s needs.
This feature connects the home’s Holovision door station through the ELAN system, making it possible for Jason to answer the door from the comfort of any room in the house.
When the doorbell rings, Jason can see and speak with the guest, using the ELAN App on his iPad.
If necessary, he can then unlock the Kwikset motorised door lock from the same application, allowing the guest into his home.
What’s more, ELAN Intercom also allows Jason to speak to his daughters or other visitors from room to room within the home.
If Jason needs to contact someone across the house, he can see and speak to them through ELAN touch panels or the iPad App prior to moving from his location.
“eHome Lifestyle did a great job working with Jason to customise the system to best fit his needs and the needs of his family,” Judith concludes.
“Without the support of Core Brands and their life changing products, Jason’s home wouldn’t be nearly as functional for him.
“eHome Lifestyle spent time with the family customising settings in the ELAN system and showing them how the home automation system works.”
In the family room, Jason can enjoy the cinema experience with his family on a 65in Sony LED TV connected to a 5.1 Sunfire Cinema Ribbon on-wall speaker system.
For extra bass, a Sunfire 10in HRS subwoofer supplements any video being watched on AppleTV, DirectTV or Blu-ray.
“We installed six zones of audio into the 3,000sq-ft home through a Niles Auriel multi-room audio controller,” Matt comments.
“Installing MRA systems into R.I.S.E. homes is one of my favourite parts about these projects.
“The smiles and enthusiasm I receive from the veterans after explaining that they can listen to their favourite music anywhere in their homes is just as exciting for me as it is for them.”
This one-of-a-kind home caters specifically to Jason’s unique needs, creating an even greater sense of independence and a positive environment where he can raise his two daughters.
“The subcontractors on this project did a fantastic job, going above and beyond to make this a special place for Jason and his family,” Judith concludes.
“Smaller modifications were incorporated into the home, including closet access and a pull down cabinet system in the kitchen.
“Jason also required a trapeze system in his bedroom and bathroom to allow him to sit up in bed on his own and transfer from his bed to wheelchair and into the shower.
“These extraordinary modifications allow Jason to regain his independence.”