According to Statistics Canada, 80% of people living with a disability use an assistive device to increase their independence, and 27% need at least one more. Cost is often cited as the main barrier.
DIY assistive technology — community created devices that can easily be made by makers and volunteers — can help bridge the gap.
Makers Making Change is an online platform providing a disruptively low-cost alternative to commercially available assistive technologies. With a wide range of devices available in the assistive devices library, there are many options for people to request from and work with a volunteer maker who can build it for them.
Every device design, contributed by the Makers Making Change community and by our organization, is open source. Anyone can freely download the files and information to build their own device. This helps keep device cost low and requesters only cover the cost of materials.
About Neil Squire
We use technology, knowledge and passion to empower Canadians with disabilities.
The Neil Squire Society is a non-profit that has been revolutionizing the lives of Canadians with disabilities since 1984 through assistive technology. Makers Making Change is one of the many programs offered.
Our organization was established when 21-year-old Neil Squire became tetraplegic after a car crash. Seeing he was unable to speak or move his arms and legs, Neil’s family and a group of professionals in created a ground-breaking device allowing him to communicate by using sip & puff to type Morse code. The technology was rudimentary at the time but it reconnected Neil to the world, allowing him to speak with family and friends once again. After Neil passed, the Neil Squire Society was formed in his name to help improve the lives of people with disabilities.
Our work is focused on four distinct areas: Innovation, Digital Literacy, Employment, and Assistive Technology.
To learn more about our history and our ongoing programs and services, please visit the Neil Squire website.