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January 10th, 2012Malls Adjust to Their Aging Clientele

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by Michelle Lalonde

Montreal, PQ – For people who have trouble walking, seeing, hearing or making themselves understood, a shopping mall can be a frustrating and even a terrifying place. For many, going to the mall is simply out of the question.

But for researchers at the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation du Montréal (CRIR), a shopping mall is the perfect real-life laboratory in which to test all kinds of technologies and innovations designed for the physically and cognitively challenged.

So when Bonnie Swaine and Eva Kehayia, research directors at the CRIR, got word that Alexis Nihon Plaza in downtown Montreal was planning major renovations, they contacted the mall owners with an unusual request.

“We wondered if we could turn Alexis Nihon Plaza into a living laboratory where we could conduct our experiments,” said Swaine, who is also a professor in the Université de Montréal’s medical faculty.

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