Michael Kelly has increased his independence and privacy with the autonoME environmental control unit.

Bill comes home, parks his car in the garage, gropes for the keys to the door, wheels into a dark home and fumbles to find the light switch. Ted also parks in the garage, but before rolling out of his van, he unlocks the door with his smart phone, then wheels across the threshold and turns on the kitchen lights and the bathroom heater with the same device. In the morning before getting out of bed, he uses the phone to turn the coffee maker and gas fireplace on, so he can be warm while reading the paper and drinking his cup of joe.

Environmental control units can be your friends, making life simpler and easier. The ultimate convenience for many, ECUs can be a godsend and lifesaver for people with disabilities, enhancing independence and widening their world. That increased independence can reduce the need for a paid attendant, cut down on demands of the family, and provide some much-needed privacy for all involved. That’s what one did for Michael Kelly.

After Kelly, of Spring Hill, Fla., w