Grants News

District 47 supports effort to overcome barriers to communicate

Jan 28, 2022

A $2,500 grant from District 47 Vancouver Island of RTOERO will support the CanConnect project for people with communication disabilities. The funding will cover the cost of equipping two addition people with the unique CanConnect device.

CanConnect has been developed by the CanAssist department at the University of Victoria ( It’s a user-friendly video software application that can be easily downloaded to Apple iOS and Android devices. With it, users can communicate easily and securely with family, friends, caregivers, and clinicians in real-time video over the Internet.

The District 47 funding is part of RTOERO’s annual Community Grants program. Districts apply for individual projects (education-related or other community initiatives) that support local programs. Up to $2,500 per project is available.

Since 1968, RTOERO has been a voice for those who work in and retire from the education sector. Our mission is to improve the lives of our members and seniors.

“We’re pleased to be able to support the user testing phase of CanConnect, which will help people who have physical or cognitive challenges overcome barriers to communicate,” says Kenneth Schaffer, president, District 47 Vancouver Island.

Each year, a committee of RTOERO members assesses the merits of each Grant submission. For 2021, RTOERO funded 31 projects for a total of $79,885. Since the inception of the Community Grants program 21 years ago, RTOERO has donated $1.85 million to more than 525 programs and projects.

“RTOERO members care about their communities and serve them every day,” says Rich Prophet, the chair of the board at RTOERO. “The Community Grants program encourages all of our districts to support and partner with outside organizations, and to give back.”

District 47 includes more than 600 members, covering the Greater Victoria area, communities north and south of the Malahat, the southern Gulf Islands, and the Gulf Islands from north of Salt Spring Island. The district plays a key role in helping members stay engaged and connected, with each other and the community.