Neil’s family and a group of professionals in Vancouver created a ground-breaking device allowing him to communicate by using his breath to type Morse code. The technology was rudimentary at the time but it reconnected Neil to the world, allowing him to speak with family and friends once again. After Neil passed, the small but mighty group formed the Neil Squire Society in his name to keep improving the lives of people with disabilities.
Now, more than 36 years later, Neil Squire offers people with disabilities a variety of free participant-centred programs that can help you with employment, assistive technology, and computer skills. Here’s what programs are currently available for Free in Metro Vancouver.
Working Together helps people with disabilities prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment. The program is customized to meet your individual needs, providing career and personal development, wellness for work, and job search support.
Wage subsidies may be available if needed. The program can also facilitate ergonomics and assistive technology assessments and solutions for your workstation.
Smitha, a Working Together participant, says, “It completely transformed my outlook to job search. Through this program, I also learned a lot about myself and what kind of job would best suit my personality, which was a big bonus! I would not have made it without your help and support!”
Makers Making Change
Making Change connects people with disabilities to volunteer makers to build assistive technologies. Their website offers a platform for people with disabilities, their family members, or disability professionals to request a project that they feel will help address their barriers.
The program has organized events across North America where volunteers build open-source, 3D printed assistive devices. Along the way, they have collaborated with companies such as Google, Electronic Arts, and TELUS.
Alex re-discovered his love for gaming through adaptive devices from Makers Making Change. He says, “Video games are the sort of wonderfully unique medium that allows people to experience situations that they might not otherwise be able to do. So having the ability to play people on the same level and experience, that same adrenaline rush and thrill that you have is really wonderful.”
Computer Comfort provides the perfect starting point for adults with disabilities who want to develop basic computer skills. It offers one-on-one computer tutoring at Neil Squire’s offices at no cost to qualifying participants.
You can learn in a supportive environment, with ongoing technical support and a refurbished donated computer if needed. The program is also available online via distance learning, called Distance Computer Comfort.
Zosia, a Distance Computer Comfort participant, says, “The program matched me with a [volunteer] who was very much in tune to how I learned and how to help me. I was really impressed. It’s changed my approach to technology.”
Neil Squire has been revolutionizing the lives of Canadians with disabilities since 1984 through accessible technology. Neil Squire has a number of offices across Canada offering these programs. To learn more, visit neilsquire.ca or call 1 877 673 4636.
This Content is made possible by our Sponsor; it is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.