SOURCE: Neil Squire Society

Neil Squire Society

October 10, 2017 07:00 ET

Bell Mobility Partners with Neil Squire Society to advance accessibility of smartphones and touchscreen devices

The Bell LipSync Buildathon takes place at Toronto's STEAMLabs on October 12

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - October 10, 2017) - Bell Mobility is partnering with the Neil Squire Society's Makers Making Change initiative for the Bell LipSync Buildathon at Toronto's STEAMLabs on October 12, 2017.

More than 50 Bell employees will be volunteering alongside technical mentors from Makers Making Change to build more than 30 LipSync devices. The LipSync, a mouth-controlled joystick, furthers the accessibility of Bell Android smartphones and touchscreen devices for people with little or no arm movement. Each of the LipSync devices constructed at the buildathon will be donated to people with disabilities in the Greater Toronto Area.

"We are proud to support the Neil Squire Society and Makers Making Change in the important work they do for Canadians living with disabilities," said Claire Gillies, Bell Mobility's Vice President, Marketing. "Bell's accessibility services team assists our customers every day to find wireless technology solutions to match their individual needs, and we couldn't be more pleased to be a part of this Buildathon to provide them with additional tools to take full advantage of touch screen devices."

"We are grateful for this partnership with Bell. They are generously providing not only the cost of the LipSync parts and the space to build them, but also a tremendous amount of volunteer time from their staff," said Chad Leaman, the Neil Squire Society's Director of Development. "To date, this is one of our most significant corporate contributions in terms of supporting a LipSync build, and it's a launching point for building LipSyncs in Toronto and throughout Ontario."

The LipSync is a mouth-controlled joystick that allows a person with severely limited arm movement to control a computer or Android device utilizing the onscreen cursor and requiring only minimal head and neck movement. It is an open source hardware project funded by Google.org that uses 3D printed parts, an Arduino Micro board and other electronic parts that can be soldered together to create the device. An estimated one million people in North America have limited or no use of their arms, and are unable to fully use touchscreen devices that offer access to helpful apps and services.

Makers Making Change has hosted LipSync Buildathons across Canada and the United States, producing over 160 LipSyncs ready for use by people with disabilities.

Please visit Bell's Accessibility Services Centre to learn more about other products and services designed with accessibility in mind.

Media are invited to attend:

WHAT: Bell LipSync Buildathon

WHEN: Thursday, October 12, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Lunch will be provided.)

WHERE: STEAMLabs, 192 Spadina Avenue, Toronto

About Neil Squire Society
"We use Technology, Knowledge, and Passion to Empower Canadians with Disabilities". The Neil Squire Society is the only national not-for-profit organization in Canada that has for over thirty years empowered Canadians with disabilities through the use of computer-based assistive technologies, research and development, and various employment programs. Through our work, we help our clients remove barriers so that they can live independent lives and become active members of the workplace and our society. Specializing in education and workplace empowerment, the Society has served over 35,000 people since 1984.

About Makers Making Change
Makers Making Change is a new, non-profit initiative by the Neil Squire Society, funded by the Google Foundation, the Vancouver Foundation, and the Government of Canada. They are committed to creating an international community of makers who support people with disabilities within their communities by creating accessibility solutions. They stand by the idea of social inclusion and a productive society that includes people with disabilities and gives them equal opportunity to contribute and participate. They will also feature a repository of various open-source assistive technology projects, with parts, instructions, and reviews to support makers helping people with disabilities in their community. Their flagship project is the LipSync.

About Bell
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing broadband wireless, TV, Internet and business communication services from Bell Canada, Bell Aliant and Bell MTS. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out of home and digital media. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca or BCE.ca.

The Bell Let's Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let's Talk Day, and provides significant Bell funding of mental health care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

Distribution of this press release was generously donated by Marketwired.

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