October 12, 2017
Canada’s first accessible video gaming service officially opened today at the Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation. The service was funded through a $30,000 grant from the Stan Cassidy Foundation.
The service includes demonstration and assessment equipment for patients with differing abilities to use under the expert guidance of assistive technology therapists. Clinicians can now assess patients on a variety of adapted game controllers – such as mouth- or foot-activated remotes – and on a variety of gaming platforms, in order to prescribe the most effective setup for individual circumstances.
“Our son Noah has been fortunate enough to have been part of the pilot for this new service,” said Tracy Dugas, mother of 16-year old Noah Dugas, a Stan Cassidy patient with spinal muscular atrophy. “The ability to game has made a profound difference in his life and in his ability to be independent. The modified equipment allows him to nurture his passion and spend time with his friends while doing an activity they all enjoy.”
There is documented clinical evidence that people with a spinal cord or neurological injury or disease can benefit from video gaming as a key part of a complete rehabilitation treatment program. In that context, gaming can improve healthcare outcomes such as hand-eye coordination, head and trunk control and the growth of neurological pathways.
“This type of advance in the care and support we provide Stan Cassidy patients is so important to helping improve overall patient health,” said Stan Cassidy Centre Administrative Director Gillian Hoyt-Hallett. “It helps us fulfill Stan Cassidy’s original vision to help improve quality of life for individuals with special physical needs and to help them achieve the highest level of independence possible. I want to thank the foundation and all the donors that made it possible to establish this service.”
The grant to fund the Game Changers service was made possible with contributions from: The Windsor Foundation (of Halifax, Nova Scotia); the NBTA Credit Union; the Blue Knight's Motorcycle Club NB3 (made in memory of Steven Young); Riverview High School and Mountain View School through the Cassidy Kid’s Schools Program; sponsorships of Fredericton-based podcast host Tyler Peacock’s 12-hour online gaming marathon; and other private individuals.
“This is a concrete example of the power of private giving, “says Stan Cassidy Foundation Executive Director Alissa Lee. “Private donations help fund cutting edge work like establishing this first-in-Canada video gaming service, helping to advance patient care and improve quality of life.”
The service further reinforces the Stan Cassidy Centre’s status as home to Atlantic Canada’s most comprehensive assistive technology services. The foundation grant is also funding additional training for therapists and clinical research so that important findings from the new service can be shared with other rehabilitation professionals.
About the Stan Cassidy Foundation
The Stan Cassidy Foundation is a registered charity that directly benefits the day-to-day lives of Stan Cassidy patients and their families by raising funds for direct patient support programs, research and education, and building and equipment. Our focus is always on patient care, helping people to recover from illness, overcome obstacles and adapt to change circumstances.
For more information, contact:
506-443-2151 | 506-238-4555 (cell)