Vancouver Tech Podcast Ep.65: Chad Leaman, director of development at the Neil Squire Society

vancouver tech podcast

Our special guest this week is Chad Leaman of the Neil Squire Society. We talk about how technology helped Neil Squire back in the early 1980s, with a device that he could interface with using sip and puff gestures to produce morse code, and communicate.

Sip-and-puff technology worked great on computers running MS-DOS, interfacing through morse code. With the introduction of graphical and mouse interfaces, a type of joystick also became relevant. The Joust, retailing for about USD $1500, is one such device.

Over the last 10 or so years, touch screens, tablets, and smartphones have become the norm, and with that there are new accessibility barriers to overcome. In BC, The Neil Squire Society runs a program called Technology at Work which helps make and fund recommendations for accommodating persons with disabilities in the workplace.

A lot of innovation, such as text-messaging and TTY devices, originally began as technology for helping the disabled, but have become mainstream.

Google.org awarded the Neil Squire Society an $800,000 grant to build a device called the LipSync that they are releasing as open-source. It can be built for about $250 for the parts. The shell is 3D printed.

Make sure to check out the Monday Makeathon at the BC Tech Summit, which is a free event that gives an opportunity for teams to work together to build a LypSync.

You can follow Chad on twitter at @chadleaman, and follow news and updates through MakersMakingChange.com.


Theme music by A Shell In The Pit from the game Parkitect

The Vancouver Tech Podcast is a weekly show focusing on the growing tech industry in the city of Vancouver. Get caught up on the events and meetups around town, startups, new businesses, developers, designers, community programs, and news. Each episode includes an interview with an outstanding member of our community.

Listen to the show here, email us, or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

Drew Ogryzek

Drew Ogryzek

As a software developer, lead organizer of HackerNest Vancouver, organizer of the Vancouver Tech Meetup, and founder of the Vancouver Tech Podcast, Drew is very active in Vancouver's tech community. Find him on Twitter at @drew_bro