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Tetra Nation Tackles Barriers to Accessibility

  • Published: 2017-12-21 (Revised/Updated 2018-03-15) : Author: Matthew Wild : Contact:
  • Synopsis: Tetra Society of North America volunteers and people with disabilities showcase ingenious gadgets and gizmos that have been created over the years.

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"The gadgets and gizmos - essentially assistive devices - are custom made to suit the unique needs of each individual and are not commercially available."

While the world may not be built for people with physical disabilities, there are hundreds of volunteers being recognized today for helping people overcome barriers by building innovative and custom-made devices.

Tetra Society of North America marks its 30th anniversary today and is recognizing its many volunteers and people with disabilities across Canada with Tetra Nation, an online video gallery ( showcasing many of the ingenious gadgets and gizmos that have been created over the years.

Video Clip 1:

This includes a custom-made walker for young Rowan, which not only helps him to build strength in his legs and upper body, but to also go off-roading on unpaved or uneven pavement: Tetra's young client Rowan needed an off-road walker to develop his leg strength and support his upper body, as regular walkers do not work on rough terrain. A metal frame was constructed with the front part of the walker open and large tires for all terrain.

Video Clip 2:

Ann Marie was able to negotiate Parisian curbsides with a simple ramp device: This travel ramp was custom built by Tetra Society of North America's volunteer engineers to enable a lady who gets about by scooter to negotiate inaccessible European sidewalks - in this case, Paris, France.


"The gadgets and gizmos - essentially assistive devices - are custom made to suit the unique needs of each individual and are not commercially available," says Ruby Ng, Executive Director of the Disability Foundation and Tetra Society of North America.

"In addition, the direct engagement between Tetra volunteers - many who have an engineering background - and people with disabilities deepens awareness about accessibility within the community."

More videos will be added by the many Tetra volunteers across the country, and the site includes a special message from the federal Minister of Sport and Disabilities, Kent Hehr.

If you or someone you know has a physical disability and would like to request a custom-made device to help overcome barriers in your home, office or community environment, or to learn more about or donate to Tetra, go to or call toll-free at 1-877-688-8762.

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