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Custom assistive devices for people with SCI on limited income

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 39 K
Funding amount
1) TITLE: Custom assistive devices for people with SCI on limited income
2) DESCRIPTION: The Tetra Society is committed to helping people with disabilities to take part in the activities that everyone enjoys, whether at work, rest or play. We believe that barriers faced by people with physical disabilities are caused by the landscape, not the disability. Due to the unique nature of each person’s disability, commercial devices are often not available to suit an individual’s needs. We devise customized, one-of-a-kind gizmos that overcome mobility barriers, at a fraction the cost of most commercial assistive devices. The innovative solutions created are made possible and affordable by the hundreds of caring, ingenious volunteers, many of whom are professional engineers, designers and inventors who contribute their time and expertise to Tetra. Since 1987, Tetra has grown to a network of chapters, with volunteers in 30 communities creating 400 to 500 unique devices each year, with 125 to 150 of those solutions for people with SCI.
Our mandate is defined by three aims: To unlock individual potential by helping people to understand what is possible; to empower people by helping them to do what is possible; and, to help people to grow beyond expectations by re-imagining what is possible. These aims are realized by matching someone who wants to make a difference with someone with a barrier to overcome. Volunteer and client work together until a safe, workable solution is completed, creating a community of people coming together to help one another. It’s about access and inclusion and ultimately, a world where people with disabilities feel empowered and inspired to re-imagine what's possible.
The project will help roughly two-thirds of the people with SCI who submit a “Request for Assistance” (RFA) to Tetra, or about 120 people who live on limited income, by covering the direct costs incurred by volunteers to create their device, but for whom even that cost is prohibitive.
This project will cover the anticipated direct costs in 2018/19 to build devices for people who cannot afford it, but for whom a device could mean a whole new outlook on life.
• Creating custom assistive devices for 120 people with SCI on limited income
• Helping 20% more people with SCI to receive assistive device(s) by removing the cost barrier
• Supporting 200 people with SCI who submit an RFA, with 60% receiving a Tetra device and helping 40% to source a commercially-available solution
Tetra’s unique, custom-made devices support people with disabilities in pursuing greater control of their own environments, increased opportunities for work, education and training, volunteering, recreation, leisure and social interaction. Many Tetra devices have a positive impact on the health and wellness of people with disabilities and help them to "re-imagine what is possible.” (CHN: COandI chn:wdg)
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    0903 Biomedical Engineering

  • RCDC

    Assistive Technology

  • RCDC


  • RCDC

    Behavioral and Social Science

  • RCDC

    Clinical Research

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