Rollease Acmeda Motorizes 80+ Shades at Ronald McDonald House® of Connecticut

The ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2022 went into effect, invoking some of the most protective child safety standards the industry has seen to-date. The standards will require window coverings to be cordless, have inaccessible or short cords, or be installed using a compliant tension device that prohibits the formation of a hazardous loop.

A Pilot Project

The industry changes are not retroactive, and many facilities still have older window covering technology. Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut (RMHCT) was one of those sites. The local facility provides a home away from home for up-to 18 families visiting four area hospitals. In late 2023, House Manager, Melissa Kenniston, received a call from Rollease Acmeda’s team offering to replace their beaded chain roller shades to ensure safety amid the upcoming industry changes.

“When they called,” says Kenniston, “My first thought was, ‘Is this real? You really want to donate all of this?’ I couldn’t believe it. Our facility was designed to feel homey and cheerful. There are a ton of windows. It sounded expensive.”

The team explained the new regulations and also emphasized the increased accessibility the motors and attached wands would provide to their families and staff.

“The wands are especially easy for children to use,” says Rollease Acmeda Hardware Product Manager and project lead, Matthew Weitz. “They don’t have to pull or tug on something and the wand itself is hooked to a motor, making it less likely to fall out or hurt anyone.”

Following two scouting visits, the Rollease Acmeda team started a pilot project in the facility’s living room and lobby. The pilot gave RMHCT the opportunity to test out the wands and assess their functionality. The attached wands were important to RMHCT who feared other types of products might go missing or their young guests might take them down to play with.

A Quick and Simple Motorized Retrofit

Rollease Acmeda was given the green light to install motors on 80+ windows across three floors of the RMHCT. The company would be donating motors to RMHCT to retrofit all reachable windows in every room as well as covering the cost of installation.

On installation day, RMHCT was nearly 100% occupied. The team of eight technicians established a plan to get in and out of each room as quickly as possible to respect the privacy of each family.

“We were so impressed,” shared Kenniston. “So much of what our families are going through is difficult and we try to ease that in any way we can. The team from Rollease Acmeda came in with a great attitude and carried out their tasks with compassion and respect.”

The team completed the entire retrofit project in one day.

A Valuable Resource and A Luxury Product

During the install, Rollease Acmeda also consulted on an area at the front of the building with floor to ceiling windows, designed to maximize natural light. The organization expressed concern about safety and privacy issues for this space, specifically in the early morning and evening hours. While the natural light was great, they felt like they were constantly on display. Rollease Acmeda connected RMHCT with a local shade fabricator to donate additional window coverings for the area, giving the staff and families the privacy they were seeking. Texstyle donated the fabric and components for the full shades, which used Texstyle fabric 3000 NET 1% in White/Beige.

The final result was met with glowing reviews from staff and families. “It feels high-tech, being able to use the shades at the touch of a button.”

A Little Help From Our Friends

The North American team has been lucky to work with a number of talented fabricators, distributors and sales agencies. Porter Preston, a window fashions fabricator and distributor, donated two replacement shades along with their group’s time and labor for the install. Alex Vanbeek from APEX Lighting+Building Solutions was also on-site with Rollease Acmeda to lend a hand.

Installation Snapshot

  • 80+ motorized retrofits
  • 18+ rooms
  • Quick and simple switch from manual to motorized

For more information about Rollease Acmeda’s child-safe product offerings, visit:

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