The HESTIA Project is an in-depth multi-faceted assessment designed to identify problems in the home environment that impede a person’s ability to successfully live at home and as independently as possible. Funded by the National Institute of Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) in 2014 we began the development of a smart mobile app that provides a detailed, comprehensive, consistent and efficient approach for completing home evaluations. Our early conceptualization of the HESTIA app has matured with the advancement of mobile technology and integration of stakeholder intelligence into its foundational design. With an infusion of NIDILRR funding in 2020 we plan to optimize the data collection component and complete a reporting module for both consumer and professional stakeholders as two apps: myHESTIA and HESTIApro. 

Its current focus is to develop the HESTIA-NextGen decision-assist component of the software for real-time home intervention planning. Our targeted populations are PWD and care partners needing a new or refreshed home function intervention plan. This includes people with new disabilities, those with chronic challenges, and of all ages.

Investigators at TWU

Outside Collaborators

Partners and Affiliates

Graduate Assistants

  • Renita Sun

Grant Funding and Agency Number

This project was supported, in part by grant number 90DPGE0016, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201.


Burns, S. P.,  Mendonca, R., Pickens, N. D. & Smith, R. O. (2021) America’s housing affordability crisis: perpetuating disparities among people with disability, Disability & Society, DOI: 10.1080/09687599.2021.1960276

Pickens, N.D., Mendonca, R., Burns, S.P & Smith, R.O. (2020) Home safety evaluation – getting it right. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2020.1805033 

Burns, S. P., Pickens, N. D., & Smith, R. O. (2017). Interprofessional client-centered reasoning processes in home modification practice. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 31(3), 213-228.  doi:10.1080/02763893.2017.1280579 

Mendonca, R., Pickens, N., & Smith, R. O. (2017). Environmental modifications: Ethics of assessment and intervention (pp. 283-294). In, Practical Applications for the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics (2015), J.B.Scott & S. M. Reitz (Eds.).  AOTA Press.  

Burns, S. P. & Pickens, N. D. (2016). Embedding Technology into Inter-professional Best-practice Home Safety Evaluation.  Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 12(6), 585-591 doi: 10.1080/17483107.2016.1189000


IRB Approved Recruitment

Interested in participating in the research? We need professional home evaluators (OTs/PTs) and direct consumers (people with disabilities and/or care partners) for validity and feasibility testing. Contact Noralyn Pickens at npickens@twu.edu for more information.

Page last updated 9:24 AM, June 3, 2022