February 7, 2017
The Stan Cassidy Foundation last night awarded $30,000 to the Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation to create Canada’s first accessible video gaming service.
“For people with a spinal cord injury or neurological disease, gaming can be an integral part of a comprehensive treatment plan, an important motivational tool, and a leisure opportunity, but only with the appropriate tools and guidance,” said Laura Oldford, Recreation Therapist at the Stan Cassidy Centre. “Thanks to this funding from the Stan Cassidy Foundation, we’ll be able to provide patients with the needed expert assessment and training so they can set up their own appropriate and inexpensive able gaming stations in their own homes.”
There is documented clinical evidence that video gaming can be an important part of rehabilitation treatment for individuals with a disability. Online gaming in particular can provide important social connection and virtual experiences that would otherwise be difficult or inaccessible.
The funding will be used to purchase demonstration video game equipment to be housed at the centre for patients to use under the guidance of assistive technologies therapists. Patients will be more effectively able to shop for the equipment that works best for their individual circumstances. The grant will also fund training for assistive technology therapists as well as clinical research so that important findings from the new service can be shared with other rehabilitation professionals.
The grant 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), and private individuals. A major contribution was also made by students from Riverview High School through the foundation’s Cassidy’s Kids Schools Program, which raises funds for projects on the foundation’s Tech List. This past fall, the foundation also hosted a novel on-line gaming marathon through which private individuals sponsored on-line gaming personality ICE while he gamed live for 12 hours.
“We thank all of the supporters of the Game Changers project,” said Stan Cassidy Foundation Executive Director Alissa Lee. “The foundation recognizes the role technology can play in helping people heal and adapt to changed circumstances. Funding this service fits perfectly with our focus on supporting initiatives that directly benefit patients in their day-to-day lives.”
The Stan Cassidy Centre is uniquely positioned to develop Canada’s first accessible gaming service as it is already home to Atlantic Canada’s most comprehensive assistive technology services with therapists and a rehabilitation engineer that are experts in their field.
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: