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Canada announces support for new accessible technology projects

Smiling deaf senior couple talking using sign language on the digital tablet's cam

Three new innovative projects will make accessing the digital economy easier for Canadians with disabilities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of communicating in accessible formats to engage with all Canadians and provide them with critical information to help maintain their health, safety and prosperity. Disability inclusion is essential to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal opportunities to participate in all aspects of life and succeed.

The Government of Canada to push the envelope to find new and innovative ways of helping remove barriers to accessibility and inclusion. Thanks to investments made under its Accessible Technology Program, the government is empowering all Canadians to fully participate in their communities, workplaces and the Canadian economy as we recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced that three projects are receiving funding from the Accessible Technology Program. These projects will support the development of assistive and adaptive digital devices and technologies.

The projects and funding amounts are:

  • $200,000 for Technologies HumanWare Inc. to develop an electronic tactile device to display raised graphics with multiline Braille text, providing users with real-time access to any complex document presenting tables, diagrams or mathematical formulas;
  • $350,959 for the Centre for Equitable Library Access to improve and pilot systems that support new digital audiobook players, software and commercial voice assistant options, increasing users’ choices for accessible reading materials; and
  • $203,000 for Concordia University of Edmonton to develop an improved machine learning chatbot that can evaluate and respond to the digital information needs of users with disabilities.

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