Federal grant assists CanAssist

The University of Victoria’s Can-Assist program will be able to meet the growing demand for assistive technology equipment for people with disabilities, thanks to $272,000 in new funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada.

The grant will be matched by Can-Assist and used to obtain leading-edge manufacturing and prototyping equipment for the development and manufacture of assistive technologies for people with disabilities.

CanAssist develops technology, programs and services that improve the quality of life of those with special needs. The program has developed more than 125 innovative assistive technologies, ranging from the relatively simple (for example, adjustable umbrella holders for wheelchairs or walkers) to the highly complex (eye-tracking communication systems).

“We’re very grateful for this support,” says CanAssist Director Dr. Nigel Livingston. “There’s 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.”

CanAssist’s long-term goal is to grow into a province-wide, university-based resource and centre of excellence for the disability community by: expanding its capacity for developing assistive technology devices and services; creating training, skill-building and supported employment opportunities for people with disabilities; and promoting education and awareness of disability issues.

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Keywords: federal, grant, assists, canassist

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