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Neil Squire Update: April 2022
Neil Squire, We use technology, knowledge and passion to empower Canadians with disabilities.

Join Us For a Free Webinar

May 3rd to September 20th 

Join us this spring and summer for our series of free webinars. We'll cover topics that support job seekers with disabilities, people facing barriers to employment, and businesses interested in hiring or supporting existing staff.

Visit our website to learn more and register today.

Tina is Grateful for Her New Start in Life

A Working Together Success

While Tina had periodically volunteered with local organizations, she was unemployed for many years before joining Neil Squire’s Working Together program in 2020.

She was previously diagnosed with Anxiety, PTSD, IBS, Diabetes, Dyslexia, back pain, and mental health challenges developed from past traumas.

A Career Facilitator worked with Tina to help her develop her self-esteem and confidence, while a Job Developer collaborated with her to help her secure employment.

After a few months, her Job Developer became aware of an office position advertised for employment equity groups. Tina had computer and Microsoft Office skills and exceptional attention to detail. Her Job Developer marketed Tina, securing an interview for her, and she landed the job as an Administrative Officer on a 12-week contract.

Tina is doing exceptionally well. This experience is allowing her to build on her skills and will provide her with even more confidence in securing long-term employment.

Tina is very happy in her new job. Her patience and dedication have paid off. Tina is onto a fresh start in her life and is forever grateful.

Visit our website to read more success stories.

Amy Learns to Promote Her Businesses on Facebook

A Digital Jumpstart Success

Amy, who has lupus, PTSD, and a panic disorder, had recently become unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and had wanted to become self-employed again.

North Island Employment in Campbell River, BC referred her to Neil Squire’s Digital Jumpstart program to get her the right equipment and the computer skills needed to be successful in her ventures.

Through Digital Jumpstart, she received a laptop, laptop tray, keyboard, and mouse.

She worked with program coordinator Gordon Watt, starting out on the basics, learning an introduction to Windows and getting started with Microsoft Office, particularly Word and Excel.

When Amy joined the Digital Jumpstart program, she had initially wanted to start websites for her different ventures, which included message therapy — she had recently earned her certificate — and tutoring for cooking.

However, after working with Gordon, she instead decided to make Facebook pages, seeing that she could more easily reach people online. She learned how to market and promote her businesses on Facebook. She likes that it is easy to use, and makes it easy for potential clients to see her prices and the information they need.

She credits Neil Squire staff with making her feel encouraged and comfortable in all of her interactions.

“The people were very kind and patient. I never feel any bad things. They always make me feel more successful,” she says. “There were very good energies there. I didn’t feel embarrassed, I didn’t feel negative, so just surprised, wow, thank you.”

Visit our website to read more success stories.

“The Outcome Was Amazing!”

A WorkBC Assistive Technology Services Success

Jacqueline works as an on-call case manager for an immigrant-serving agency in Vancouver. She helps immigrants find employment in the same field they were employed in their home country, helping them with everything from finding positions and training to resume writing to interview prep.

She has a hearing impairment, moderate hearing loss in one ear and profound loss in the other.

Her audiologist referred her to WorkBC Assistive Technology Services for help funding the hearing aids.

“The program was amazing! I paid $200 instead of the $5,000 I was initially quoted for the hearing aids and dongle that make them work with my laptop,” she says.

“It has made a HUGE difference in my ability to respond quickly to clients and coworkers. I no longer feel the need to request people literally spell it out for me! We can speak on Teams or Zoom and share the screen and talk at the same time now. It is so much more efficient.”

The new hearing aids have particularly made a big difference when dealing with important conversations with clients and co-workers.

“I do not have to keep interrupting client and coworkers to ask them to repeat what they just said. Sometimes we are discussing very sensitive topics, and this was always a tough call. ‘Do I let the missed words pass and try to guess what they said by context? Or do I stop the flow I worked so hard to get started and possibly cause the person to lose their train of thought?’ This new headphone set up makes it possible to fully concentrate on what is being said.”

Visit our website to read more WorkBC Assistive Technology Services success stories.

Kerilyn Brings Her Assistive Design Experience to Makers Making Change

A Makers Making Change Success

Fourth year Dalhousie University mechanical engineering student Kerilyn Kennedy is no stranger to assistive design.

Last year, she worked with fellow Dalhousie students and members of the Dalbox Access program to design a shelter device for people who use wheelchairs when transferring in and out of their vehicles during bad weather.

Now, Kerilyn continues her work in assistive design as an engineering intern for Makers Making Change in Nova Scotia.

One of the early projects she worked on is the Smartphone Magnification Stand. Inspired by the Visor Smartphone Stand, this inexpensive, 3D printed stand for a phone is meant to be paired with a magnification app, allowing users to enlarge or increase the contrast of text to make it easier to read. The device also works for those with low finger dexterity to take steady pictures. She also worked on upgrading our Bag Carrier design. 

“I just really think that everybody should have equal opportunities,” she explains. “I’m really inspired by how all of [Makers Making Change’s] designs are open source for the assistive technology, which makes it super inclusive not only to use the devices but for people to potentially build them on their own. It’s just something I really want to be a part of.”

Visit our website to read more success stories.

Volunteer With Us!

Help People With Disabilities Learn How to Use Their Laptop, Tablet, or Smartphone

Our Distance Computer Comfort program is looking for volunteer tutors, especially those available during mornings and early afternoons.

For more information, email gordonw@neilsquire.ca or visit our website.

Support Our Work

Every Gift Makes an Impact

Your support enables access to life-changing technology and knowledge, and invests in bridging the divide between disabled and non-disabled Canadians.

visit our website to donate now

For other ways to give or to learn more about how your donation will make an impact, please visit our website.

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