Aging, disability and technology: Understanding and advancing Canadian policies for technology access

The McMaster Health Forum is pleased to announce that Michael Wilson (Assistant Director, McMaster Health Forum) and Rosalie Wang (Assistant Professor, University of Toronto) are one of 25 teams of researchers from across Canada that have been awarded funding by AGE-WELL NCE Inc. to conduct cutting-edge research that will directly benefit older adults and caregivers.

Over the next three years, Wilson and Wang will study how assistive technologies are accessed by Canadians and explore the ethical, social, and policy issues (including data privacy and confidentiality) around assistive technology access. This will include convening three citizen panels, as well as a stakeholder dialogue at the McMaster Health Forum.

Even though technology can increase independence, well-being and community participation with older Canadians, many experience unmet technology needs. The current policies for technology funding and services are not coordinated and vary across Canada. These issues can result in the inability to provide for people who need assistance, to meet our society’s responsibilities to ensure services and opportunities are available in a fair way, and to address the high cost of providing health care.

The research team will work with policymakers, citizens, researchers, and others involved in or affected by the issue to support the development of policies that can be directly put into place to improve access to technology in a fair way.

This project will be conducted in partnership with the March of Dimes Canada, who will facilitate research and knowledge transfer related to service and equipment provision across Canada and help provide access to numerous technology users and other stakeholders in the non-profit sector.

Co-investigators Jerome Bickenbach, University of Lucerne; John Lavis, McMaster University; and Michelle Putnam, Simmons College, will further support the research.

Read the press release from AGE-WELL NCE Inc.

Apply for Postdoctoral Research Fellow position related to this project