Federal government announces support for accessible tech
May 10, 2023
OTTAWA – François-Philippe Champagne (pictured), minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced that 11 organizations in communities across the country will receive funding as part of the $5.8 million investment in the second phase of the Accessible Technology Program. This investment will support the development of new assistive and adaptive digital devices and technologies to make it easier for Canadians with disabilities to participate fully in the digital economy.
While the price of mainstream technologies typically decreases as they become more readily available, the opposite is true for assistive and adaptive devices because they must be customized to the unique needs of their users. Therefore, the current level of support for the development of accessible technologies needs to be increased, given the unique needs of Canadians with disabilities.
The Accessible Technology Program will help overcome these barriers, reduce the costs associated with developing assistive and adaptive technologies, and address the employment challenges that Canadians with disabilities face. This will help ensure that they can be more independent and get the well-paying jobs they want.
The 11 organizations receiving funding are:
- AAVAA Inc.
- CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind)
- Compusult Limited
- Concordia University of Edmonton
- Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
- Horizon Health Network
- Neil Squire Society
- Technologies HumanWare Inc.
- TrySight Inc.
- Université Laval
“All Canadians deserve the opportunity to find good jobs, contribute to their community, and build a better life for themselves and their family. Our government’s investments through the Accessible Technology Program are empowering those who are still facing barriers to participating in the digital economy. By working with great organizations across the country, we are increasing accessibility and helping Canadians with disabilities access high-quality assistive and essential equipment to ultimately improve their quality of life,” said Minister Champagne.
Carla Qualtrough, minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, added that, “A barrier-free Canada by 2040 includes barrier-free technology. Access to technology and the Internet is essential to developing the professional and cultural networks necessary to fully participate in the digital economy. With these investments, our government is addressing the barriers to employment faced by persons with disabilities and helping them get well-paying jobs.”
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.