IDRC - Celebrating 25 Years

1993 - 2018

Continuing Our Work During COVID-19

Read the letter regarding COVID-19 by IDRC Director, Jutta Treviranus.

[Back to Design Exchange Presentation]


An Overview Of Accessibility

Wendy Porch, M. Ed
Project Coordinator


The Adaptive Technology Resource Centre

Works to ensure that information technology is accessible to all through:

Remember- Access is a Right

  • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • Ontario Human Rights Code
  • Ontarians with Disabilities Act Bill 125
  • Coming soon: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

Various web and e-learning specific standards can help you to meet your responsibilities


The Opportunity

For many people with disabilities, the transformative power of computers has revolutionized:

  • Employment
  • Communicating
  • Socializing
  • Education


  • E-Text: People who are blind previously had to learn Braille in order to read or write
  • Blackberry: People who are deaf don\'t have to rely on the rarely encountered TTY to communicate in public spaces
  • Adaptive Technology and ICT: People with limited ability to move can surf the web, write emails, work, do research using technology

Barriers to Participation

Barriers can be:

  • Attitudinal
  • Legal
  • Technological
  • Physical

Technological Barriers

  • A website that can only be accessed using a mouse
  • Audio files that have no captions
  • Video files without video descriptions
  • Images without ALT-tags
  • Etc.

What is Adaptive Technology?

  • Hardware or software used by people with disabilities to facilitate access to technology
  • Often used to gain access to the Internet

Adaptive Technology...

  • Screen magnification (e.g. Zoomtext)

photo of woman using Zoomtext software


Adaptive Technology...

  • Alternative keyboards

photo of large keyboards


Adaptive Technology...

  • Alternative mouse and onscreen keyboard

photo of woman operating an onscreen keyboard using a headmouse



Adaptive Technology...

  • Voice Recognition

photo of man using voice recognition


Screen Readers

  • used by computer users who are blind
  • software allows a voice synthesizer to read text from computer screen
  • can tab through links, use menus for other functions

photo of computer running Window Bridge software