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Kelowna  

A mother gives back

Robert Taylor was in a car accident in 2000, when he was 20 years old, that left him a quadriplegic. For nine years, Robert used a device that allowed him to control some electronics around the house by moving his head, providing him with some independence.

In 2009, Robert passed away due to complications from the accident.

On Saturday, Robert's mother Lynne joined 13 other people at UBC Okanagan in building a LipSync device, which allows quadriplegics to use their mouth to control a cursor on a smart phone or computer.

“When I saw the ad in the paper I just wanted to give back,” Lynne said. “I thought, this would be something that (Robert) would be proud that I did.”

The “Makers Making Change” event was put on by the Neil Squire Society, a non-profit that helps empower Canadians with disabilities through technology.

Rashmi Prakash with the Neil Squire Society says through these events, they've built 180 LipSync devices, which have been given to quadriplegics.

“It helps them connect to the world and start doing daily activities,” Prakash said.

The 14 devices that were built Saturday will be given out to those who need them in Kelowna.

“It's the idea that it's community for community, people get a chance to learn new skills, and they get a chance to use those skills for something meaningful,” Prakash said.

While building the devices requires some soldering, Prakash says its a pretty straightforward process.

Lynne Taylor has little experience building electronics, and she's only soldered once before. But she says while she worked away on the LipSync device Saturday, her son Robert was “very much” in her thoughts.



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