Celebrations are usually best when they’re personal — and when they’re shared with the people who bring meaning to our lives. So in 2017, when the Comcast team in greater Philadelphia wanted to celebrate our 1 millionth XFINITY Home connection in a meaningful way, we turned to our friends and partners at the Philadelphia-based nonprofit SPIN (Special People in Northeast).
Dedicated to helping people who have disabilities live independently, SPIN helps us demonstrate the potential for Comcast technology to change lives.
What it really comes down to is independence. They feel better about themselves and that they’re in control of their own lives.
Founded in 1970, SPIN provides high-quality services to people with autism and intellectual disabilities and offers inclusive preschool programs open to all children. The organization, which serves more than 3,500 people a year in Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley, has been a Comcast NBCUniversal partner since 2015.
SPIN’s adult services include more than 100 homes, where residents live with housemates who are seeking similar levels of autonomy. The organization’s Direct Support Professionals provide support and supervision tailored to the specific needs and choices of the individuals. Residents learn skills that promote increasing levels of independence, choice, and control so that they can pursue meaningful, inclusive lives within their community.
It was at just such a home, on Jackson Street in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Torresdale, that Comcast chose to celebrate our 1 millionth XFINITY Home connection.
Michael Porter, Anthony Valeno, and J.J. Costello have lived together in their SPIN home since 2015. All three hold full-time jobs, enjoy a relatively high level of autonomy, and are incredibly tech savvy. In other words, they were ideal candidates for our surprise free installation.
The complete home automation services included 24/7 video cameras, motion detector lights, and remote entry for greater security. Avowed sports fans, the three men now enjoy greater viewing ease and independence with an XFINITY X1 set-top box, touchscreen capability, and an X1 voice remote.
In addition to sports and entertainment, XFINITY Home means greater freedom for the three men. Rather than relying on prompts from support staff or family members, they can set reminders to take out the garbage, water the plants, or turn off the lights.
“What it really comes down to is independence,” says Mindy Lederhandler Lutts, SPIN’s Corporate Officer of Organizational Development. “They feel better about themselves and that they’re in control of their own lives.”
Looking ahead, Lutts sees that XFINITY Home has even more potential to provide freedom and control. “If they can set a reminder for the lights, there’s no reason elderly residents or people with medical needs couldn’t set reminders to take their medication.”
As an organization, SPIN aims to help develop each person’s strengths, integrate each individual into the community, and create a culture of inclusion and hope. We see that as the very essence of social impact — which helps explain why Comcast and SPIN are community partners in the truest sense of the term. We both believe that all people deserve to reach their fullest potential and live a life of possibilities.