Accessibility of new and emerging technologies

The project was funded in part by the Office of Consumer Affairs in the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada. The project’s goal was to strengthen marketplace attention to Canadians with communication disabilities and remove barriers to their participation in that marketplace.

Canadians without access to technologies, and communications technologies especially, are disadvantaged in the global economy. Access to software programs, professional networking sites, and dedicated websites work to connect people professionally and advance careers; those without full communication access to these networks and programs are therefore significantly disadvantaged when it comes to making connections in their professional lives.

Many emerging technologies are social in nature and work to expand the social experience of users. Devices as simple as mobile phones, or even landline phones, serve the purpose of keeping their users connected with their social networks. Social networking sites could actually break down social barriers that often exist between individuals who are DDBHH (Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard of Hearing) and individuals who are hearing.