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June 2014

Safe at the wheel

Tests currently used by doctors to assess a senior’s ability to keep driving need to be improved, a long-term study of older drivers is revealing. UVic psychologist Holly Tuokko is an investigator in Candrive, a pan-Canadian study aimed at improving safety for older drivers. A main goal is to develop an easy screening tool for physicians to assess medical fitness to drive in seniors. More

Funded by CIHR

Game on!

UVic’s CanAssist team recently developed an electronic device known as a “switch-accessible spinner” that allows people with very challenging disabilities to participate in certain activities and games, such as Snakes and Ladders and Twister. The spinner is one of almost 300 unique technology solutions developed by CanAssist for clients in the community. More
 
Funded by the BC ministries of Health and Social Development and Social Innovation, and the CKNW Orphan’s Fund

Solar power

The City of Victoria and UVic have teamed up to develop a solar energy map, to find out how much solar energy could be captured from rooftops in Victoria. The project involves installation of an instrument that measures solar energy on the roof of City Hall. The information will help homeowners assess the solar potential of their properties.   More
 
Funded by NSERC and the City of Victoria

Nurse hurdles

Almost a decade after nurse practitioners were introduced into BC’s health care system to expand accessibility, health-care options and fill gaps in the system, barriers prevent them from fully performing their roles, says a report by UVic’s School of Nursing. Lack of support by doctors, legislative barriers and funding issues remain ongoing challenges.  More
 
Funded by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research

Face value

To help the increasing number of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) researchers at UVic’s Centre for Autism Research Technology and Education have developed software that analyzes facial expressions in real time in a variety of games and iPad apps. The technology gives young people with ASD a fun way to hone their social skills. More
 
Funded by NSERC, CFI and BCKDF

A few too many

A new study published by UVic’s Centre for Addictions Research shows that people under-report their alcohol consumption in national health surveys by 50 to 75 per cent, depending on age and beverage. Inaccurate consumption surveys undermine the development of effective policy measures to reduce alcohol-related disease and injury.   More
 

Aquaculture 2.0

Polyculture—an ancient technique of growing one thing from another—has been used for thousands of years in Asia. It’s now being developed on the BC coast by UVic geographer Stephen Cross, who is using the organic waste from farmed sablefish to nourish and grow a range of commercially valuable invertebrates such as scallops, oysters and mussels.   More
 
Funded by Sea Vision Group Inc., NRC, BC Innovation Council, DFO and NSERC

Vital support

BC should extend foster care beyond age 19, says a study by researchers in UVic’s School of Social Work. The study interviewed 21 youth who attended the Link program run by Aunt Leah’s Place, a New Westminster-based non-profit that provides services for youth leaving foster care. They fared better than former foster children who did not use the Link program. More
 
Funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Definitions:

BCKDF = BC Knowledge Development Fund
CIHR = Canadian Institutes for Health Research
CFI = Canada Foundation for Innovation
DFO = Fisheries and Oceans Canada
NRC = National Research Council of Canada
NSERC = Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

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