Rendez-Vous Avec Felix

Name: Felix Nindorera

Role: I am a postdoctoral fellow at Université Laval, focusing on new assistive technologies to improve mobility, independence in daily life activities and social participation in non-disabled and disabled people. I also have an interest in physical activity.

1) Where are you from, and where did you study?   
I was born and raised in Burundi in East Africa. After studying kinesiology in Benin (West Africa), I moved to Belgium (Europe) where I did my PhD investigating the effect of physical activity on mobility, independence and motor learning process in stroke survivors.

Currently, as a postdoctoral fellow, I’m studying the effectiveness of a mobile application for training healthcare students and users to properly fit and use walking aids (walkers, crutches, canes, etc.). I’m also involved in virtual reality project applied to Wheelchairs.

2) What motivates you to make the world more accessible? 
Mobility is a human right. My deepest dream is therefore a world of freedom, inclusive and equitable, whatever each person’s level of ability.

3) In simple language, describe your research project/the project in which you are collaborating.   

Walking aids (crutches, canes, walkers) are used by over a million Canadians, 80% of them being elderly. I’m currently implementing a large study to investigate the influence of a mobile application “Improving Canadians’ Walking Aid Skills, Learning, and Knowledge” (ICanWALK©)” in training the proper fitting and use of walking aids.

More than half of participants in an ongoing pilot study told us that they had never learned how to fit Walking aids; they get accustomed to them on their own. 75% of participants declared having no knowledge and confidence in fitting walkers before using the ICanWALK app.

4) What are your hidden talent and your greatest quality?  

I can move my ears easily

My greatest quality… I would say I am easy to get along with, curious, discreet, motivated and sociable

5) What is the best way to make yourself smile?   

Music and dance

6) What do you like to do during your hobbies?   

Sports (cycling or jogging) OR playing piano or guitar

7) What place in the world do you dream of visiting?   

Madrid! Discovering the Bernabeu new Real Madrid stadium

 8) If you could have dinner with a known researcher/scientist/clinician/person who would it be and why?

Ludwig Guttmann, a doctor who invented sport for the physically disabled after the First World War. In 1948, the World Wheelchair and Amputee Games were launched. I would like to thank him and ask him to collaborate on research to assess the status of access to sport for disabled people more than 70 years later.

I’m also thinking of Jason Smyth, who became the fastest Paralympic athlete in history in the final at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, with a world record time of 10 s 46.

I have other great names like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King