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Environmental Control Systems for Disability Access

Home Automation + Disability Access = Environmental Control

Technical Solutions Australia has been supplying “Environmental Control” devices for people with disabilities for over twenty five years. We work closely with clients and their supporters to design control systems best suited to each individual.


What is an Environmental Controller?

An Environmental Control Unit (ECU) is an electronic device that assists a person with a substantial disability to control their  surroundings. It helps them perform many daily tasks and make choices independently.

An Environment Control Unit (ECU) is a specially designed remote control.  A wide range of electrical devices including lights, telephones, computers, air conditioning, electric beds, televisions, DVDs etc can be operated 'out of the box'. Many other devices can be controlled with a small amount of additional equipment.The user of an ECU controls the system by operating a switch or screen (including smart phones) matched to their physical ability. Speech recognition and other input methods are also available.

The benefits of an Environmental Control Unit impact more than the direct user. These systems can help relieve the pressure of providing constant care to a loved one by passing control of many activities back to the individual.

What do you want to control?

Click on the links in the left margin to read about some of the systems we supply.

The purpose of Environment Control (EC) equipment is to provide a “technical bridge” which gives users independent and spontaneous control of devices that able-bodied persons take for granted. Common devices include television, telephone, computer and lights.

An able-bodied person operates their television or light, by reaching for the control, and then pressing the appropriate button. A person with a significant physical disability can’t do this. EC equipment brings the control within reach of the person with a disability, and provides a control strategy that is manageable. EC equipment often uses selection strategies to provide choices to a person not able to access conventional multi button controls. A common approach is for the EC equipment to step through a menu that consists of a logically organised range of options, and the user makes a selection by activating an single switch suited to their ability.

An acknowledged benefit of EC facilities is that demands on carers are significantly reduced while the quality of life of the user is improved. Users can switch a light, change television channels, adjust the bed, make a phone call, even send an email when they want to, instead of waiting for a carer to operate equipment for them.

Many EC users lead a more stimulating and spontaneous life, whether it be business, pleasure or both.

In Victoria and Australia wide there are now many people living more independently in their own homes with the assistance of “Environmental Control” equipment supplied by Technical Solutions. Many of these control systems were custom designed after discussion with the customer, professional advisers and funding sources.

Off the shelf equipment can provide excellent facilities for people with disabilities. However, the addition of custom devices often provides a lot more flexibility and function compared to factory made devices.

Want to read more?

Our download library contains manuals, information sheets covering many ECU systems and other devices. It's worth browsing through!

ClickToPhone HouseMate Accessible Mobile Phone with ECU

Explore the latest in eMerging, converging technologies for effective disability access.

With a suitable switch and the HouseMate Module, paired with an Android Mobile Phone or Android Tablet, people with severe physical impairments can do all of the following without ever touching their phone:

  • Answer and make calls and text messages.
  • HouseMate infrared and Wi-Fi control of TVs and other appliances
  • Control of thousands of third party apps including Home Automation, Internet camera, picture gallery, music player Email, internet radio and eReaders.
  • Shop or pay bills via online banking or PayPal
  • Download HouseMate information brochure

Possum Primo!

The Possum Primo! provides, affordable, touch sensitive, dynamic screen technology in an ergonomically styled, highly portable, lightweight yet robust case.

The Primo can be used to control a Telephone, Television, VCR, Stereo, Radio, Computer, Heater, Fan, Lights, Windows, Doors, Intercom, Call System and even an Electrically Controlled Bed.