Government of Canada announces support for new accessible technology projects

News release

Innovative projects will make it easier for Canadians living with disabilities to participate in the digital economy

April 15, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of communicating in accessible formats to help all Canadians maintain their health, safety and prosperity. That’s why the Government of Canada is taking action to make sure that people living with disabilities are not left behind, and why it continues to push the envelope to find new and innovative ways of helping remove barriers to accessibility and inclusion. By investing in the Accessible Technology Program, the government is empowering all Canadians to fully participate in their communities, workplaces and the economy as we recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry, announced five projects to be funded under the federal Accessible Technology Program. These projects will support the development of assistive and adaptive digital devices and technologies.

The funded projects announced today are:

  • $212,500 for AbleDocs Inc. to develop an assistive reader that reads PDF content for persons living with visual and cognitive impairments, providing better access to information on the Internet on both Android and iOS devices.
  • $429,675 for AdHawk Microsystems Inc. to develop and deliver mobile augmented reality glasses with integrated displays and eye tracking to interact with desktop applications. The eye tracking technology will be able to work from various head positions, allowing the user greater mobility.
  • $247,814 for Compusult Limited to enhance and extend a combined joystick and mouse switch technology to create controllers that enable someone with physical disabilities to seamlessly switch between and manage multiple devices.
  • $125,750 for Emily Carr University of Art & Design to create the a new adaptable font that to address the needs of people with low vision. The Infinite Font will allow users to tailor shapes to individual needs.
  • $608,594 for McGill University to develop three strategies based on audio, tactile and multimodal feedback that will allow users who are blind, deaf-blind or visually impaired to interpret graphical content on the Internet more independently, quickly and effortlessly. This project will particularly help the vast majority of blind individuals who are not Braille-literate.

Quotes

“Being connected is so important to maintain professional, social, economic and cultural networks but many Canadians are still facing barriers that prevent them from fully participating. This is why the Government is investing in the Accessible Technology Program - to help empower Canadians’ ability to use and enjoy digital technologies. By working with innovative and caring organizations across the country, we are helping Canadians with disabilities access high-quality, assistive, and essential equipment so that nobody is left behind.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry

“We know that Canadians with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, and it has highlighted the importance of communication and access to information in a format that is accessible. This investment through the Accessible Technology Program will help us build back better in an inclusive way, where every Canadian has a fair and equal chance at success.”
- The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Quick facts

  • The Accessible Technology Program is part of the Government of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class.

  • Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act, was tabled in Parliament on June 20, 2018. It received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019, and came into force on July 11, 2019.

  • In total, 25 projects from across Canada, including the five projects announced today, have received investments from the Accessible Technology Program.

Associated links

Contacts

John Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
john.power@canada.ca

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca

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