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Keeping students connected through technology

Find out more about a unique initiative to help support autistic students through online learning.

boy and girl with tablet

Being a parent has never been easy, but the challenges we all face this year especially have definitely made it even tougher. In our “new normal”, many aspects of our routine, and our children’s routine have been upended. Whether it’s something as simple as foregoing weekly dinner plans to something as challenging as transitioning to a work from home/learn from home environment, our day-to-day lives feel completely different than they did this time last year.

One of the most valuable lessons many of us have learned is the importance of coming together even while staying physically apart. In this new reality, technology has become a crucial tool to keep us connected – from a video call with grandma to keeping up with the latest news – technology has played an important role and continues to play a critical one in our lives as we move forward.

With the changes to our current education system, the importance of technology has become even more prominent thanks to the onset of remote and e-learning. That said, unfortunately, many families in Canada lack access to technology, putting them at a great disadvantage. One in 66 Canadian children and youth are diagnosed with autism and for these families, the challenges posed by a lack of access to technology are exacerbated as it not only locks the door to education but also vital support services.

This is why Samsung Canada donated 1,000 tablets to Autism Speaks Canada (ASC) this past spring. ASC received over 4,000 applications across Canada in the first 24 hours of the campaign, highlighting the overwhelming need in the community for technology-related solutions.

For parents Ryan and Andrea, the donation couldn’t have come at a better time: “In a time of crisis, receiving the Samsung tablet has blessed our son Damien more than words can say. The tablet has been able to support Damien’s continued education, and given him access to resources and specialized services,” said Ryan.

Similar sentiment was shared by Izabelle, mother of 14-year old Yorick who has also been diagnosed with autism. “The tablet has greatly helped him in his everyday life, above all to learn and communicate. For him, this opens a door to the world.”

In recognition of this ongoing issue, Samsung Canada continues to focus its efforts on meaningful solutions to support current education problems faced by Canadians, in particular with e-learning.

“Autistic Canadians and their families continue to face disruptions in accessing critical resources, support and services, so we are doubling our efforts and donating another 1,000 tablets to ASC,” said Jennifer Groh, Director, Corporate Marketing and Citizenship from Samsung Canada. “The 1,000 tablets will go to organizations supporting online learning and opportunities for the autistic community in Canada.”

For more information on this initiative, you can visit the Samsung Canada newsroom. Organizations supporting online learning opportunities for autistic Canadians, service organizations and schools supporting autistic Canadians can apply for the tablet program here by October 27, 2020. For more information about Autism Speaks Canada, visit www.autismspeaks.ca

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