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Sheridan Awarded Two SSHRC Social Innovation Grants

January 21, 2016

Minister of Science, the Honourable Dr. Kirsty Duncan, announced this afternoon the first round of results of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s new pilot program for colleges – the Community and College Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF). Sheridan received funding for two social innovation projects as part of this initiative, valued at $200,000 each over three years.

Sheridan’s Centre for Elder Research received funding to create strategies to effectively reach and serve immigrants age 65+ who may be experiencing, or are at risk of experiencing, loneliness and/or social isolation. The Centre is working with a multitude of local community partners, including Community Development Halton, Dixie-Bloor Neighbourhood Centre, Indian Rainbow Community Services of Peel, and the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care.

Dr. Denis Nikitenko, professor at Sheridan’s School of Applied Computing, received funding for a partnership project with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital to help children with Cerebral Palsy (CP)  -- one of the most common childhood disabilities in the developed world -- to overcome social isolation  through multi-player games designed specifically to accommodate varying levels of physical abilities.

“With the support of SSHRC, the research being untaken by the Centre for Elder Research and the School of Applied Computing is building strong and innovative connections between Sheridan and the community while providing invaluable learning opportunities for students,” said Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, Sheridan’s President and Vice Chancellor. “The students currently working on these projects will be able to apply their classroom knowledge to pressing societal issues while developing critical thinking skills and engaging with community partners.”

Both projects are currently underway, with the present work focusing on designing data collection tools, benchmarking current solutions and available services, and completing early game prototypes.