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New Technology Helps People with Disabilities

Article from CBC News

Dan Danbrook, treasurer for the Neil Squire Society, uses the LipSync device to control his smartphone. (Photo: Chad Leaman/CBC News)
Dan Danbrook, treasurer for the Neil Squire Society, uses the LipSync device to control his smartphone. (Photo: Chad Leaman/CBC News)

Vancouver “makers” are in the middle of a 48-hour competition this weekend to design new technology to make life easier for people with disabilities.

Access Make-a-thon pairs a person with a disability with a team of engineers and designers to create assistive technology costing under $250.

Organizer Chad Leaman works for the Neil Squire Society, which aims to use technology to help people with disabilities.

He says while there are many funding supports available for people with disabilities to find it easier to work or go to school, there’s not much out there to improve¬†day-to-day quality of life.

“There’s a big gap there. For a lot of people there are some custom things but there’s not a huge market there, so if this item even exists, it costs a lot of money,” he told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn.

“We’re looking for solutions for people to address a particular need they have to increase their quality of life.”

Leaman says many of the contestants are engineering students. They will work with the people with disabilities to create something to fit their needs.

He gave the example of a female quadriplegic who struggles with using a smartphone as someone who can be helped through technology.

READ FULL ARTICLE AT –¬†http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/disability-technology-make-a-thon-1.3956536