CanAssist funding will help society’s most vulnerable

- Anne Tolson

Client Susan Jensen and a wheelchair/scooter lift designed by CanAssist. Photo: UVic Photo Services.

Seniors with dementia and children with special needs will benefit from the latest provincial funding to CanAssist, a University of Victoria program dedicated to helping people with disabilities improve their quality of life, with a focus on promoting independence and inclusion.

A total of $4.5 million from the BC Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation will provide technologies to two vulnerable groups in BC. A $3 million grant will extend CanStayHome, an ongoing CanAssist initiative that is developing technologies to improve the independence and safety of vulnerable seniors, particularly those with dementia.

And a $1.5 million grant will be used to produce and supply existing assistive technologies to service providers across BC to support children and youth with special needs.

Part of the $3 million grant will support the completion and launch of CanAssist’s Ability411 website, which will provide easy-to-access information about assistive technologies for seniors and their caregivers. The website’s official launch is expected later this fall.

“CanAssi st would not be what it is today without the funding over the years from the BC government, including these new investments,” says CanAssist executive director Robin Syme. “Along wi th al l the generous individual donations and ongoing infrastructure and resource support from UVic, the provincial funding has kept us going in more ways than one.”

Examples of technologies developed as part of CanStayHome include a wandering redirect system, an easy-to-use manual wheelchair/ scooter lift for vehicles and a phonein monitoring system that makes it possible for caregivers to learn about their vulnerable loved one’s movements while the person is home alone.

CanAssist client Susan Jensen describes how the technology she and her husband have received has changed their lives. “The easy-touse scooter lift for our vehicle is a necessity for both my husband Ken’s health and mine,” she says. “We’re so grateful and want to thank everyone involved for the amazing place called CanAssist.”

For more information visit CanAssist's website.


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Keywords: adaptive technology, CanAssist, government, funding, aging, children, community, research

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