Ottawa Invests In Equipment For Persons With Disabilities

Government of Canada News Release

A University of Victoria program will be able to meet the growing demand for assistive technology equipment for persons with disabilities, thanks to federal funding announced today by the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

The funding will enable CanAssist to obtain leading-edge manufacturing and prototyping equipment for the development and manufacture of assistive technologies for persons with disabilities.

“The new equipment our Government invested in will be an integral part of a facility set to become a centre of knowledge for assistive technology in British Columbia,” said Minister of State Yelich. “This is just one example of how our Government is strengthening the manufacturing sector and breaking down barriers to help Canadians reach their full potential.”

Established in 1999, UVic’s CanAssist program is dedicated to developing technology, programs and services that improve the quality of life of those with special needs. The program has developed over 125 innovative assistive technologies that range from the relatively simple (for example, adjustable umbrella holders for wheelchairs or walkers) to the highly complex (eye-tracking communication systems).

The new equipment will strengthen CanAssist’s ability to generate revenues from manufacturing and product licensing while helping persons with disabilities. Western Economic Diversification is providing funding of $272,000 for the purchase of equipment including: a milling machine, lathe, stereo lithography prototyping machine, automated pick and place machine, stencil printer, reflow oven, microscopes, mixed signal oscilloscope and a waveform generator.

“We’re very grateful for this support from Western Economic Diversification,” says CanAssist director Dr. Nigel Livingston. “There is a constant and growing demand for our assistive technologies. This much-needed equipment upgrade will allow us to take on more technology projects, pursue commercialization opportunities and better support those with disabilities across the province.”

Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and represents the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

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Keywords: ottawa, invests, equipment, persons, disabilities

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