The University of Regina receives additional funding for the George Reed Centre for Visual Communications

News Release Release Date: February 12, 2016 10:30 a.m.

Today, the University of Regina and the George Reed Foundation signed a Memorandum of Agreement to continue the research and initiatives taking place at the George Reed Centre for Accessible Visual Communications in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies. The Memorandum of Agreement will provide $250,000 for the Centre, which was originally established in 2014 through a gift of $150,000 by the George Reed Foundation.

“Since it was created through the initial funding provided by George and his Foundation, the George Reed Centre for Accessible Visual Communications has made significant strides for those who cannot communicate in traditional ways, and this new funding will help build on that work in exciting new ways,” said University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Vianne Timmons. “On behalf of the University, I want to thank George for his commitment to our institution and the people we serve throughout the province and beyond. He is a selfless, compassionate, and caring person who is a hero in our province, and a leader in our communities.”

The George Reed Centre for Accessible Visual Communications serves as the focal point for pictogram research provincially, nationally, and internationally. The Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies houses the Centre as it complements the Faculty’s academic and community programs.

The mission of the Centre is to foster, co-ordinate and promote research activities in accessible, visual and inclusive communications when conventional communication is not possible due to disability, language barriers, literacy challenges, or health issues.

Pictograms, a symbolic language system, are sometimes used by individuals who do not use conventional communication. Pictograms illustrate objects, concepts or actions and provide opportunities for communication for those who require adaptations. Used widely throughout Sweden and Japan, the concept of pictogram symbolism is internationally accepted as a mode of communication to support people in a non-verbal context.

Since the establishment of the George Reed Centre for Visual Communications in 2014, the Centre has:

  • Funded a collaborative project between Wascana Rehabilitation Centre and the Faculty of Science to develop applicable software programs to enable children and adults to use visual communication;
  • Established a collaborative study with Engineering and Fine Arts professors to examine the effectiveness of pictograms on electronic devices in situations when other forms of communication are impaired; and

  • Jointly collaborated between Saskatchewan’s universities to develop an app to be used by individuals who require assistance to relate their daily living needs to others.
George Reed played with the Saskatchewan Roughriders for 13 seasons (1963-1975). During his career, he set 44 records in the Canadian Football League. He was voted #2 by The Sports Network in a list of the CFL’s top 50 players of the modern era. Reed is a member of the Order of Canada and received an honorary degree from the University of Regina in 1981. In 2014, he was named the Outstanding Philanthropist by the Association of Fundraising Professionals and in 2015, was awarded the Humanitarian Award by the Canadian Red Cross. He established the George Reed Foundation to help people who are experiencing physical and/or intellectual challenges. 


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