Posts Tagged ‘assistive technology’

“I am Beyond Grateful,” New Hearing Aids Help Liana at Work

A barista holds a cup of cappuccino.

Liana works as a barista at a coffee shop, and she also works with her local chamber of commerce. At the coffee shop, it’s a fast-paced environment taking customers orders, while at the chamber of commerce, she manages memberships and has to communicate with local businesses. She has a cochlear impairment in both ears.

“I don’t hear well at all,” she shares. “[It] causes errors and miscommunications at work with members, customers, and peers.”

WorkBC Assistive Technology Services “Made a Significant Difference in My Ability to Perform My Job Effectively and Safely”

A chef finely chops garlic on a cutting board.

Ihor came to Vancouver about a year ago as a displaced Ukrainian. He soon found work as a prep cook and dishwasher at a local Ukrainian restaurant, taking pride in his new job. However, he was recently diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears and tinnitus, which was making his job more difficult.

“I work in a loud and noisy environment filled with all sorts of equipment,” he shares. “My main concerns include my inability to hear people, even in a quiet environment, and follow their instructions, not being able to hear if the dishwasher is on or off, if water is overflowing in the bucket, if the alarm system is on or off, if the work equipment is working or not.”

WorkBC Assistive Technology Services “Has Given Me the Opportunity to Feel More Confidence”

A hand writing in a notebook.

Denise works for a supportive housing program in Kelowna as a Home Support Worker, serving a diverse population, including persons with mental illness, substance abuse disorders, and trauma. She was recently diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears.

“It has severely impacted my ability to communicate effectively over the years,” she shares. “[I work in] a position of support to participants in daily living, and that is all about communication. The ability to truly listen, learn, comprehend, and assess what the participants needs are is imperative. Not being able to hear and decipher in communicating with both clients and co-workers has been embarrassing, frustrating and created anxiety with many barriers.”

“I’m Excited About What My Future May Hold”

Hailey, in her wheelchair, at her desk using a trackball mouse and wearing a headset.

WorkBC Assistive Technology Services has been helping Hailey get the assistive technology she needs as she works to find employment. Hailey has cerebral palsy, which makes her speech soft and she uses a power wheelchair.

“I have many physical barriers that challenge me daily and make finding employment very difficult,” she shares.

Hailey was working with her employment counsellor at NEXUS Community Support Society when they reached out to WorkBC, who referred her to WorkBC Assistive Technology Services. A WorkBC Assistive Technology Services occupational therapist came to Cranbrook to provide an assistive technology and ergonomic assessment.

Ins & Outs of Assistive Technology: Built-in Windows Functions

On-Screen Keyboard

For individuals with physical disabilities, accessing a computer often presents challenges, particularly with using a keyboard or mouse. Depending on the user, one of these devices might be easier to handle than the other. Tools that allow functions to be transferred between the keyboard and mouse can significantly improve accessibility, independence, and efficiency. While there are numerous external tools designed to enhance keyboard and mouse functionality—many originating from gaming or programming contexts—let’s start by exploring the built-in features of Windows.

WorkBC Assistive Technology Services Helps Wanda Retrain for a New Career

An escalator and a staircase in a mall.

Over 35 years as a flight attendant, Wanda faced difficulties because of her hearing loss. During the pandemic, mask wearing made it even tougher to read lips, and she retired early.

“Financial constraints made acquiring new hearing aids impossible,” she says.

Still looking to work, her audiologist at Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre referred her to WorkBC Assistive Technology Services for funding for a new set of hearing aids.

A Message From Executive Director Dr. Gary Birch: The Importance of Client Centred Solutions

Gary Birch, in a wheelchair, looks over Neil, in a bed with a sip and puff device mounted.

It’s hard for me to believe that we are 40 years in and counting. In some ways, it doesn’t seem that long ago that I was working with Neil as he was learning Morse code with his state-of-the-art Apple IIe computer — it had 64 KB of memory, and believe it or not, that was considered massive for a personal computer. (Compare that with the memory on your smart phone right now just to put it into perspective).

As we celebrate 40 years of impact, it had me reflecting on my early days working with Neil even before the organization was formally founded, and one particularly important lesson I learned early on.

“My Employment Has Become Much More Enjoyable”

WorkBC Assistive Technology Services participant Mary at a beach.

Mary has her own business, organizing and decorating homes on a contract basis. She has significant hearing loss.

“This hearing loss impeded my ability to deal with potential clients, clients, and coworkers. I was unable to hear anyone who wasn’t directly facing me,” she shares.

Neil Squire Society logo
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400 – 3999 Henning Drive
Burnaby, BC V5C 6P9
604 473 9360 | 1 877 673 4636
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Hearing Solutions logo
400 – 3999 Henning Drive
Burnaby, BC V5C 6P9
778 945 1215
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