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PhD Health Candidates work with Mitacs Accelerate Program
America 'Mel' Keddy and Yaser Alnasery have teamed up with Dr. Dorothy Kessler, Atul Jaiswal, and Alex Coffin of Queens University, Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai of the Canadian National Institute of the Blind (CNIB), and their supervisor Dr. Tanya Packer through the Mitacs Accelerate Program. Together they are working on a collaborative project titled Transforming Low Vision Rehabilitation in Canada. The project aims to help improve vision loss rehabilitation (VLR) services in Canada, through three sub-projects.
VLR is a cost-effective way to help improve the lives of people who are blind or partially sighted. VLR includes strategies like orientation and mobility training, independent living skills, low vision technology and occupational therapy. Despite the demonstrated effectiveness, access to VLR is inconsistent across Canada. CNIB has been actively working to improve this.
Atul’s project aims to assess needs, facilitators and barriers related to VLR services across Canada. More specifically, the sub-project aims to describe the types of services that are being offered in each province, who is providing and receiving service, and the policies, regulations, and funding arrangements that surround VLR services.
Mel and Alex are working on the second sub-project, which aims to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement in clients’ experiences. The project also examines self-management support provided by four VLR centres (Kitchener, ON, Kingston, ON, Halifax, NS, and Charlottetown, PEI). She is using the quality improvement Lean Six Sigma methodology allowing stakeholders, health providers and client’s voices to be heard.
Yaser’s project examines CNIB clients’ satisfaction with accessing assistive technology and devices through CNIB. This will be investigated through a nationwide survey that will target all CNIB locations across Canada.
This research is made possible by the Mitacs Accelerate Program, a non-profit organization that offers internships for graduate students. Mitacs internships combine research and industry, allowing students to see the real life application of their research.
Stay tuned for further updates on our graduate students' research!
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