Government invests $3 million to help people with disabilities access assistive tech

The Canadian government is providing $3 million to the Neil Squire Society to help Canadians with disabilities have better access to assistive technology and the internet.

The Neil Squire Society will use the funding to develop and distribute switches, mouth-operated systems, and mounting solutions to make computers, laptops, and mobile devices more user-friendly for people with disabilities. The goal is to reduce the cost of assistive technologies such as screen readers, alternative keyboards, and Braille displays.

“This funding will enable us to continue to develop an open source assistive technology model across Canada that greatly reduces the cost of many assistive technologies.”
 

“This funding will enable us to continue to develop an open source assistive technology model across Canada that greatly reduces the cost of many assistive technologies,” said Gary Birch, executive director of the Neil Squire Society. “This model not only incorporates innovation in the actual technologies but also further develops an innovative model that efficiently delivers those assistive technologies to each individual, meeting their unique needs…I believe [this support] will help significantly improve opportunities for Canadians with disabilities to participate more fully in all aspects of society.”

The Canadian government said the funding is part of the $22.3 million Accessible Technology Program, which supports the development of assistive and adaptive devices and technologies for Canadians with disabilities.

“Despite new assistive and adaptive technologies that empower people with disabilities to participate in the workforce, we still see barriers to accessing technology and the internet in our communities,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development. “Accessible Technology Program projects, like the ones announced today, will help us overcome these barriers and give all Canadians an equal opportunity to obtain the well-paying middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow.”

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer and content creator at BetaKit with a strong interest in Canadian startup, business, and legal tech news. In her free time, Amira indulges in baking desserts, working out, and watching legal shows.