Some of us are fortunate enough to be completely independent and in full control of our lives. There are, however, the less fortunate, who need care and supervision just as much as they need to have their own freedom.
Michelle is a young girl with a mild form of learning disability, an infliction impairing her everyday life, but a teenager strong enough to face everyday challenges if provided with the correct type of support.
Michelle Westbaum attends a specialized private education institution to suit her particular developmental needs but has the ability to go and return from school independently, as the service provider offers free bus transportation to the students. Michelle is fully aware that she needs to always be on time to catch the bus in order to safely arrive to and from school.
However, one day, caught up playing with her mates, Michelle missed the bus, having to walk home. Even if her cognitive limitations are severe, Michelle knew that she was assisted by her Pebble watch provided with the Red Panic Button – an app able to send a distress call to her parents and giving her exact GPS location no matter where she was. Half frightened by the perspective of walking alone to her home and half excited by the adventure she decided to embark upon, Michelle began her walk willing to not let anything scare her.
But even full functional adults can get confused and lost in a large, busy and intricate metropolis, let alone a young girls with limited orientation skills. The moment she realized she didn’t know the way home anymore, not recognizing the buildings or the stores, she immediately stopped and used the Red Panic Button app on her Pebble watch to warn her parents she needed help, while disclosing her exact location.
Her father didn’t waste too much time. He came rushing down where his little girl was waiting and took her home. After discussing with Michelle the reasons why she was in the streets instead of the bus, her father was more than happy about teaching his little one how to use the Pebble smartwatch and the Panic Button app.
Understanding that actually Michelle didn’t stray too much from her path to home, her parents decided to let her walk home from school once a week, to gain more independence and life skills, knowing that no matter what happened, Michelle would be prompt into using the Pebble and the panic app to ask for help in case she got lost or confused about the environment.
The Red Panic Button App together with the Pebble watch make important and sometimes mandatory support devices for children and adults with disabilities, for elders or grown-ups suffering from physical or mental limitations. Being able to call for help at any given time and providing your support network with your exact location can sometimes be life saving for young and mature individuals alike.