Winners of the Nova Scotia Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative Tablet Give Away

To help Nova Scotia residents with physical disabilities improve their community access and participation, March of Dimes Canada, through the Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative, was proud to present 7 winning candidates with iPads and Galaxy tablet certificates at the Rock for Dimes Halifax fundraiser on October 30th. The tablets will come with customized apps and someone to teach them how to use the software to increase their independence and quality of life. 

Nova Scotia AMTI recipients Jacqueline Philip Ebony and Rollande 
MODC representatives and Nova Scotia Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative recipients (left to right):
Gail Mores (MODC), Jacqueline Benedict, Philip Ngui, Andria Spindel (MODC CEO), Ebony Houghton, Rollande Connolly, and Lynn Wagner (MODC).

Winners of the Nova Scotia Assistive Mobile Technology Initiative:

​​Jacqueline Benedict: Jacqueline is a 40 year old woman from Windsor, Nova Scotia. Jacqueline is legally blind and has ADHD. She has trouble concentrating, reading text, messaging, seeing people's body language, and it takes her longer to do paperwork. She believes the tablet would significantly improve her volunteer life (she is very involved with Toastmasters) and community involvement. She also believes she would be more employable with an accessible tablet. Jacqueline is thrilled to receive the tablet​.​

​​Phillip Ngui: Phillip is a 66 year old man from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He lives with aphasia since his stroke in 2007 and has a right-hand disability. His aphasia has limited his ability to communicate and participate in the community and with friends. He is hoping the iPad will help him engage with the community more and be more independent.

Ebony Houghton: Ebony is a 36 year old woman from Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. Ebony has an intellectual disability, cerebral palsy and cyclical mood disorder. She is profoundly deaf and is unable to verbally communicate. Her primary method of communication is sign language. However, the support workers in her environment are not proficient in sign language and therefore, communication barriers occur on a daily basis. She is motivated to improve her communication and a tablet could assist her in achieving that goal.

​​Rollande Connolly: Rollande is a 64 year old widow living with secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis with major challenges in mobility (left side; leg brace; very little movement), speech, vision and some swallowing/dry mouth challenges.  This makes if difficult to get around, run errands and communicate with friends, family and community members. The device will help with emergency situation aid (ie scooter breaks down, in home falls, injury). Rollande is also looking forward to using the tablet for Facebook, as she has found that it has opened up her world and allowed her to connect with her family again. 

​​MODC CEO Andria Spindel and AMTI winner Kara MarzettiKara Marzetti: Kara is a 25 year old woman living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Kara is visually impaired due to TSPK, which she has had over 10 years. The condition causes blurred vision, pain, and light sensitivity. Her overall condition can change in the blink of an eye. This factor alone can make her life very unreliable.​ ​She will use the tablet for leisure activities and also to help her at school. Many books and text books are being provided in 3-text, so the tablet will double as an e-book reader.

Kara currently uses a laptop with Zoomtext software and an electronic magnifier (which just died after 10 years). A tablet can put all of these things into one easy to carry device. She is currently working and going to school and her backpack can become too heavy with multiple electronic devices and text books/school supplies. The tablet will help her at work/school for magnifying, recording/note taking, and providing documents electronically in an easy to carry way.

​Connor Hirtle: Connor is a 21 year old man from Dublin Shore, Nova Scotia. He sustained C5C6 spinal cord injury, and is only able to use his shoulders and arms, not his fingers or even straighten his elbows. He is currently learning how to use a manual wheelchair. The tablet will enable access to environmental controls in this home and allow Connor to be more independent with day-to-day activities. This will reduce the amount of support and assistance he needs and will allow him to return to an independent lifestyle in the community.

John Cantwell: John is a 50 year old man from Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia. John lives with a condition know as fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva referred to as F.O.P. This is one of the rarest, most disabling genetic conditions known to medical science which causes bone to form in muscles, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues. Bridges of extra bone develop across joints progressively restricting movement and creating a second skeleton that encases the body in a prison of bone. John requires care for all his daily activities. Previously he had been given an iPad as a gift, that he enjoyed using tremendously, but unfortunately it broke, and he was unable to replace it with his income. The table will keep him mentally active with minimal physical ability, and will help him to maintain and/or gain more independence.

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