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Programs & Services

Assistive Technology

Overview of program:

The Mechanical Design & Services Department (MD&S) of the Rehabilitation Centre for Children designs and builds different types of assistive technology. Assistive technology helps with independence by helping children and youth do things that they cannot do on their own, or have a hard time doing. Some examples of what we do:

  • Design and build unique, custom equipment
  • Modify standard consumer products, like bicycles, toboggans, classroom chairs and kitchen chairs
  • Customize commercial adaptive equipment, like wheelchairs, seating, commodes and walking aids

What to expect during your visit:

Check in with our receptionist, and they will bring you and your child into a private room. An Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist and a Clinical Technologist will talk with you about your child’s needs. Together you will make a plan for how your child could use assistive technology or have equipment modified to maximize their potential and participation.

The length of your appointment depends on what happens at the appointment. If your child is being measured for equipment that MD&S will be building or ordering, it will be between 30 and 45 minutes. The therapist and technologist will record different measurements and other information of your child to make sure the equipment will fit properly. If it is a follow-up appointment for equipment that we will be fitting, it will be between 1 and 3 hours, based on the type and complexity of the equipment.

When coming for an appointment for equipment modifications, please bring anything that may be helpful to have. For example, if you think a modified bicycle will help your child ride a bicycle, bring a proper fitting bicycle and running shoes. If you think a modified kitchen chair will help your child sit and participate in meals at the kitchen table, bring a kitchen chair that we can modify.

There are times that we can modify the equipment while you wait at the centre, if it is for a safety concern or a small change. Usually your child must come for a follow-up appointment for a fitting once we have had time to make the modifications or order equipment.

Due to the number of requests in the summer, try to bring in your child’s bicycle for modifications as early in the year as possible, as the wait for bicycle modifications can be long.

Meet your team:

You will meet an Occupational Therapist or a Physiotherapist, and a Clinical Technologist. The Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist will talk with you about what your child needs to participate in their activities. The therapist will also assess your child’s physical abilities and suggest equipment that may help them with the activities they want to do. The Clinical Technologist will record all of the measurements and information so that they can safely design, modify, and/or build equipment for your child.

How to access the program:

The program is for children and youth who need help from an assistive device to participate in daily activities, or need a regular device modified to their specific needs. Children and youth up to the age of 21 from Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario and Nunavut can come to MD&S. You do not need a referral; parents and caregivers may contact us directly. Wait times can vary based on your equipment needs. Call us at (204) 258-6661 for more information or to make an appointment.

Find and contact us:

MD&S is located on the second floor of SSCY Centre in Innovation Station. We are open Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Contact us at (204) 258-6661 for more information or to make an appointment.

Program funder:

This program is funded by Manitoba Health and the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation.