Video: St. Catharines entrepreneur created special tech app to aid the autistic
Published October 4, 2022 at 2:25 pm
Some don’t realize that October is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Awareness Month, a condition that affects thousands (between one and two per cent) of Canadians across the country. But you can be certain that one St. Catharines entrepreneur is well-aware of this month.
Nadia Hamilton, the founder of Magnusmode, runs a Waterloo-based technology company that provides tools and applications to enhance the quality of life of those with developmental disabilities.
Hamilton grew up helping her autistic brother Troy to complete everyday tasks, like brushing his teeth. To lessen his anxiety and support independence, she created hand-drawn step-by-step guides that he was able to follow along with and re-enact.
They weren’t complex instructions – just simple crayon drawings on paper but nonetheless, the guides nonetheless provided the structure and foresight he needed to do things on his own.
But Hamilton realized when Troy graduated from high school, the homemade drawings were not enough to support him to participate in the world. After all, she couldn’t be there to draw them.
In fact, she worked as a Support Worker throughout university and realized that many families were facing a similar issue: the world was not designed with the special needs of their loved ones in mind.
That’s when she decided to build Magnusmode, a company dedicated to removing the barriers that affect an individual’s ability to thrive in the world.
Magnusmode’s first solution, MagnusCards, is the digitalized version of the hand-drawn solution she made for her brother when they were younger, easily downloadable in an app.
Magnusmode says, “It’s the ultimate strategy guide for life, with an ever-expanding library of guides (Card Decks) for home and community experiences. Companies and venues across North America share Nadia’s vision of an accessible world, and sponsor the creation of branded Card Decks to help welcome and support all customers.”
What began with the love of a sister for her brother has grown into an accessibility movement powered by technology, with a fun character mascot named Magnus (designed by and for the community), transforming home, school, and community life worldwide.
Hamilton was honoured with Startup Canada’s Woman Entrepreneur Award in 2016 for her dedication in helping the intellectually challenged find their place in the world around them.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising