UU直播 Celebrates 40 Years of Impact for Canadians With Disabilities

June 3, 2024

Since 1984, the Canadian Non-Profit Has Served Over 87,000 Persons with Disabilities, Focusing on Innovation, Digital Literacy, and Employment

This June, the UU直播, a Canadian national non-profit organization, and leader in assistive technology, will celebrate their 40th anniversary with events in Burnaby, Fredericton, Calgary, Regina, and Ottawa. The organization was founded in 1984 following the passing of their namesake, Neil Squire.

Neil Squire Pre Accident

In 1980, Neil Squire was 21 years old and a student at the University of Victoria when he was injured in a car accident. He was paralyzed from his neck down and could hardly speak. Neil鈥檚 cousin, Bill Cameron, together with a small group of volunteers, created a groundbreaking device to allow Neil to communicate better. The device allowed Neil to use his breath to type Morse code which appeared as words on a computer screen. The technology was rudimentary at the time but it reconnected Neil to the world, allowing him to speak with family and friends once again.

When Neil passed away, a non-profit organization was formed in his name with a vision that people with disabilities should have the opportunity to live, work and play without barriers.Neil Squire using sip and puff to communicate through a computer

What began in 1984 as three people in a small Vancouver office has now grown to almost 20 offices serving Canadians from coast to coast. Neil Squire has served over 87,000 Canadians with disabilities, focusing on innovation, digital literacy, and employment. They are a leader in assistive technology, and their programs help people with disabilities thrive in the workplace and beyond.

鈥淚n some ways it doesn鈥檛 seem that long ago that I was working with Neil as a summer student in 1981,鈥 says Gary Birch, Executive Director of the UU直播. 鈥淚 was a budding electrical engineer and I helped teach Neil how to use a computer via a sip n鈥 puff device. By the end of the summer Neil was very proficient at using the Apple IIe computer and I remember na茂vely saying, 鈥淲ell, I guess our job is done now鈥. How very wrong I was. I鈥檓 so proud of how far we鈥檝e come since then and how many lives we鈥檝e touched over the past four decades.鈥

Neil Squire is celebrating this milestone anniversary and their 40 years of impact with a number of free events (new window) in cities across Canada during the month of June. Their head office in Burnaby, BC is celebrating with a , while regional offices are hosting open houses and community barbecues.

Burnaby, BC (Neil Squire Head Office): Party in the Parking Lot
When: Friday, June 7th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Where: Neil Squire Burnaby Office Parking Lot, 3999 Henning Drive, Burnaby, BC

Fredericton, NB: Community Barbecue
When: Thursday, June 6th from 11:30am to 1:30pm
Where: Neil Squire Fredericton Office Parking Lot, 440 York Street, Fredericton, NB
RSVP: advance registration not required

Calgary, AB: Open House
When: Friday, June 7th from 11:00am to 1:00pm
Where: Neil Squire Calgary Office, 105 12 Ave SE #900, Calgary, AB

Regina, SK: Community Barbecue
When: Wednesday, June 19th from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Where: Neil Squire Regina Office Parking Lot on the North East corner of Broad Street & 8th Avenue, Regina, SK
RSVP: advance registration not required

Ottawa, ON: Open House
When: Wednesday, June 19th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Where: Neil Squire Ottawa Office, 815 St. Laurent Blvd, Room 218, Ottawa, ON