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CanAssist Fact Sheet

CanAssist is an organization at the University of Victoria that is dedicated to helping people with disabilities improve their quality of life. Along with the Department of Athletics and Recreation, CanAssist will be housed in the new Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA).

Background on CanAssist

  • Focuses on developing practical, customized technologies for people with disabilities, as well as innovative programs where there is a gap in existing services
  • Founded at UVic in 1999 as a small volunteer venture
  • Currently employs about 25 full-­‐time staff (such as engineers, computer programmers and project managers), as well as several part-­‐time technology testers and assistants, many who live with disabilities • Engages many students each year, through co-­‐op and work study positions, engineering courses, volunteer opportunities and graduate student placements
  • Has had a direct impact on the quality of life of several thousand people with disabilities and their families in Greater Victoria, across B.C. and beyond
  • Benefits enormously from the educational and research resources at UVic, as well as from the university’s provision of space and administrative support • Works closely with many in the wider community, such as non-­‐profit groups, schools, health-­‐care providers, businesses and all levels of government
  • Covers operational costs through donations, service contracts, project-­‐specific grants and commercialization opportunities (revenues go directly to a wide range of projects for people with disabilities—typically at no charge to individuals)

The importance of CARSA to CanAssist

  • Doubles CanAssist’s existing space to about 10,000 square feet
  • Provides state-­‐of-­‐the-­‐art facilities that will greatly enhance CanAssist’s ability to develop customized technologies and innovative programs for people with disabilities
  • Allows CanAssist to work at the same location as students and faculty in the Department of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education
  • Increases accessibility to sports and recreational facilities for patrons with disabilities
  • Enables CanAssist to engage many more clients with disabilities
  • Helps meet the continuously growing demand for CanAssist services CanAssist is thrilled by the opportunity to be housed in CARSA and by the resulting ability to expand its services to help more people with disabilities.
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