Regarding Portable Ramps
During the investigatory stage of our work with the consultants, they identified a number of critical issues that need to be addressed in a timely manner. The most pressing issue is one of liability and risk management. Consequently, this means all programming that involves ramp construction and deployment must be put on hold pending legal review and direction. We are currently in the process of engaging a law firm to help us meet our legal needs but until this work has been completed we have been advised to notify all of our participating Community Ramp Project leaders and ask that they halt all ramp building activities until further notice.

Our hope is that this will be a speedy process and we will be back up and running sooner than later with a clear understanding of how to better support you and your efforts in your community. We will be following up with you periodically to update you on our progress as well as providing you with any necessary information on how to handle existing ramps that were distributed to locations in your community in the past. We are planning to host a half day virtual conference sometime in the Spring where we will be inviting all of our Community Ramp Project leaders to join in and learn about the latest developments with our resources. Stay tuned and know that we are incredibly grateful for your ongoing support of our important awareness-raising work. We truly believe that this pause is a healthy moment in our evolution that will allow us to build momentum in even bigger ways when we resume.
Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with any questions or concerns!                                                                                                                                          


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A “Renewed Sense of Community” for Hayley

A Neil Squire Success

“COVID cut me off from community,” says Hayley. “All the regular resources for computer and job searching help were closed due to COVID.”

Hayley lives with a thyroid condition. She experiences muscle weakness, stiffness, and fatigue.

External link opens in new tab or windowNeil Squire participant, Hayley
Looking for work, she joined the External link opens in new tab or windowWorking Together program. She was also able to benefit from the External link opens in new tab or windowSolutions program for an assistive technology and ergonomics assessment. After this, she received a laptop, ergonomic mouse, and laptop tray through the External link opens in new tab or windowDigital Jumpstart program. She is currently receiving tutoring once a week.

With the help of Working Together, Hayley landed a job as a Home Care Aide in Ottawa.

She says, “I was so appreciative to be eligible for assistance from Neil Squire’s Working Together and Digital Jumpstart programs. The ergonomic considerations for working on solutions for my physical disabilities was like I was worth something and I felt spoiled. My eyes are welling up realizing how much help I have received and continue to receive from Neil Squire.

“This is my thank you letter: Thank you for helping me go from the depths of despair in feeling isolated to being lifted up by this program and to have made a friend, then having been doing so well to share my journey and now I have a renewed sense of community and my connection has survived COVID."

Visit our website to read more External link opens in new tab or windowsuccess stories.

“I Learned to Take Pride in Myself”

A Working Together Success

“I have ADHD, which causes me to lose focus some days," says Luke. "I may not get ready for work soon enough because I have been late for work occasionally.”

With the help of Working Together, Luke landed a part-time cleaning position at External link opens in new tab or windowSummer Street Industries. The wage subsidy through Working Together allowed Summer Street to provide additional hands-on, one-on-one, small group, and shadow training to ensure his success.

External link opens in new tab or windowWorking Together participant, Luke
Seeing his stellar performance, Summer Street offered Luke a position as a production contract worker at a large local manufacturer. He now works both roles, and he loves them both.

“I have learned so much and have more confidence in myself. I learned to take pride in myself and to get to work on time! [...] I hope other people like me find this program. It helped me so much, I feel pretty lucky!”

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Assistive Technology Helps Alfred Get His Business Off the Ground

A WorkBC Assistive Technology Success

Alfred started a business, External link opens in new tab or windowAccessible Places, to help people with disabilities and seniors by assessing homes and buildings for accessibility using External link opens in new tab or windowRick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification standards.

“Having had a stroke in 2016, I am trying to give back to my community by helping others have a more accessible and inclusive life at home,” he explains.

External link opens in new tab or windowAssistive Technology Services Participant, Alfred
After an assessment from an occupational therapist, Alfred received Dragon Professional and training to dictate to his computer, a proper ergonomic mouse, and hearing aids.

“The mouse and Dragon software I received are extremely helpful to prepare my reports, and as I have only one functional hand, typing with my left hand is terribly slow and time consuming. The hearing aids I received dramatically improve my hearing for meetings and one on one assessments with my clients.”

Visit our website to read more External link opens in new tab or windowWorkBC Assistive Technology Services success stories.

Scott Helps Develop Assistive Technology for His Capstone Project

A Makers Making Change Success

When fourth year UBC engineering student Scott Beaulieu was looking for a capstone project to take on, one idea really stood out.

External link opens in new tab or windowUBC Engineering students Keith, Nicholas, and Scott look over an Arm Cycle Gaming Interface prototype they developed. Photo Credit: ICORD
The Yuel Family Physical Activity Research Centre (PARC) at External link opens in new tab or windowICORD was looking for a team to design an Arm Cycle Controller for an Xbox One, so that people with spinal cord injuries could get valuable exercise through hand cycling, while partaking in the social aspects of playing a game with others online.

Scott joined a team with four other engineering students. External link opens in new tab or windowMakers Making Change and Microsoft provided valuable support on the project.

“Putting it together and actually seeing it work was something we all wanted to do, because we wanted this to be able to be used, to be iterated on and updated, and not just be some imaginative thing that’s possible," says Scott.

The team earned an applied science faculty award for their capstone project from UBC's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Wanting to continue in the assistive technology sector, he joined Makers Making Change as an engineering intern. “I thought it was a really nice way to sort of give back to the community at large,” says Scott. “That’s why I got into engineering — it’s a way that I can use something I enjoy and something that I have a passion for to directly help people,” he says.

Visit our website to read more External link opens in new tab or windowMakers Making Change success stories.

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Every Gift Makes an Impact

Your support enables access to life-changing technology and knowledge, and invests in bridging the divide between disabled and non-disabled Canadians.

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