Neil Squire's AT HelpDesk launched their very own podcast in January. We Have Solutions! is a monthly podcast about assistive technology, disabilities
Neil Squire Update: March 2022
We Have Solutions!
Listen to Our New Podcast
Neil Squire's AT HelpDesk launched their very own podcast in January.
We Have Solutions! is a monthly podcast about assistive technology, disabilities, and breaking down barriers to accessibility through one-on-one interviews, news, reviews, and more. They’ll talk to a range of guests from within various disability-related communities including assistive technology users, experts in the field, and everything in between.
In the latest episode, they are joined by Courtney Cameron. Courtney is the Atlantic Region's Regional Coordinator of Makers Making Change.
Patty was laid off from a local hotel’s laundry staff at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Afterwards, she spent most of her time alone during lockdown, describing herself as a home body who was very shy and was timid of trying new things.
She decided to join Neil Squire’s Working Together program to find employment, particularly with a predictable routine. Since then, she's found employment with STEPs on Arthur and so much more.
“I love going to work and looking forward to what the day brings, I will do it all, whatever needs to be done. The people are great, my customers know me by my first name, and I am happy to go to work!”
Digital Jumpstart Helps Rural Entrepreneurs With Disabilities
A Digital Jumpstart Success
Community Futures’ Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (EDP) in Manitoba and Saskatchewan has made a big difference in helping people with disabilities, particularly those in rural communities, start and expand their businesses.
Community Futures Manitoba and Saskatchewan have had a long partnership with the Neil Squire Prairie Regional Office in Regina, Saskatchewan, often referring their clients to our Digital Jumpstart program to help them raise their computer skills and get them the necessary supports to get online.
“It’s a great partnership in that way, because Neil Squire was able to provide the tools and the training, and that allowed them to access the services we were able to offer,” says Manitoba and Saskatchewan EDP program manager Susan Bater.
“Even if they didn’t use it specifically for their business, we wanted them to know how to take a Zoom call, how to access the webinars and things, and without that computer training they wouldn’t have been able to access a whole range of online services."
“Retirement was not for me, but I did not have necessary technology to enable me to be productive,” says Randy, who is blind.
Randy is a founding board member of the One in Spirit Healing Arts Society, a non-profit society facilitating transformative healing moments, rooted in First Nations teachings. He recently started work as the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Elder-in-Residence for the Nanaimo campus of Vancouver Island University, a job he credits WorkBC Assistive Technology Services for helping him to get.
"The equipment and software enabled me to immediately become productive,” he shares. “Without your assistance I would never have been able to launch projects with One in Spirit. Also, the connections I was able to make through recording stories led to my being hired by Vancouver Island University. I know that with One in Spirit and VIU, your assistance has greatly aided in my career advancement."
Lucas and Olivia 3D Print Assistive Devices for Recreational Therapy
A Makers Making Change Success
Last summer, University of Alberta students Lucas and Olivia worked together during their work experience at Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital to print assistive devices to help patients.
“In recreational therapy, our goal is to get patients back to doing the things they love, kind of alongside the rehab, get them out into the community, get them participating in different leisure options, and while they’re here, we want to make sure we’re giving them different activities they can try for the first time,” says Lucas, a recreational therapy student.
“The [3D printed] tools have really helped us do that, and the ones that we’ve used the most honestly are the Makers Making Change designs.”
Both Lucas and Olivia are amazed at the potential of open-source assistive design.
“I mean it’s lifechanging for some people, like Lucas had shown me the signature of one gentleman before free handing with a pen, and then using one of the devices, and it was like night and day,” Olivia shares. “If you don’t need these devices, you just take the fact that you can write your name for granted.”
“And really, I’ve noticed the only limit is your imagination when it comes to this stuff,” says Lucas.
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