Non-profit profits from relationship with Comcast Business Class

CSAAC facilityIt's almost reflexive to think of a cable business class services customer as a for-profit organization that's concurrently trying to make money at the same time it's saving money on telecommunications services. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, but it's hardly more than a run-of-the-mill capitalist capitalizing on a new way of doing business story.

When it comes to the Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children (CSAAC), a private non-profit agency in Montgomery County, Md., however, there's a bit more of a do-good flavor attached to the business. Sure, CSAAC chose Comcast Business Class because it was a less expensive way to connect its country-wide operation of offices and residences for children and adults living with autism. But on the other hand, Comcast's advanced business class connectivity performs a real community service when it's put into the hands of CSAAC.

"Children and adults with autism have intense needs so this is a great partnership ... like a little marriage made in heaven," said Ayda Sanver, CSAAC's director of community development.

CSAAC bought the whole package from Comcast: business class Internet and voice and television. Conveniently, 50 of 52 group homes where 153 adults and children with autism reside, are on the Comcast network. Necessarily, the network that links all those homes operates 24/7, 365.

CSAAC Ayda Sanver"This is care management in real time," Sanver said. "If one of our individuals isn't feeling well, all the staff has to do is go over to the computer and type in 'Johnny's not feeling well.' The system sends an automatic page to the nurse, an automatic e-mail to the director of that department, and an automatic page to the home's coordinator. It cuts down the response time tremendously over just using a telephone."

That's why the group adopted broadband. It adopted a business-class version of that broadband service because it can't afford any long-term, or even short-term, network glitches.

"We haven't had any (major) issues and the very minor issues we've had (have been) resolved the same day," Sanver said.

That kind of dependability, she said, lets the caregivers do what they do best: give care to children and adults in need with what Sanver described as a "sophisticated Web-driven case management system."

"We have a case management system called CareMatic that enables our remote locations, including our group home residences, to enter client information into a system and manage all types of needs for the client. It makes us more responsive having that electronic system in the homes using computers. With Comcast Business Class we were really able to create a network for the agency ... and be much more responsible to the needs of the people we care for."