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Accessibility Project

Collaboration between The Chang School, DMZ, and Sandbox by DMZ

The Accessibility Project is a community and grant program that offers funding opportunities up to $25,000 to champion entrepreneurial talent and innovative ideas that will support people with disabilities.

As aspects of our everyday lives continue to face disruption through new delivery modes and technology, this represents both an opportunity and challenge for people living with disabilities.

Vision

The Chang School is a champion for accessibility and technology. Through a collaboration between The Chang School, DMZ (North America’s leading business incubator), and Sandbox (a space offering free programs to upgrade creative, digital, and entrepreneurial skills) came The Accessibility Project.

The Accessibility Project is a community and grant program that supports the development, commercialization, and growth of innovative ideas, products, and solutions for people with disabilities and aging populations.

The Accessibility Project offers up to $25,000 in funding, depending on the business plan and track – ideation, product development, and scale. More funding may be available as business plans mature.

Mission

To foster Ryerson’s entrepreneurial talent and grow technology innovations that will positively impact the quality of life for people with disabilities.

2017 Finalists

Applications for 2017 are now closed. Congratulations to all of the finalists!

Accessibility at Airports: How Digital Media Can Put Toronto at the Forefront for Accessible Travel

Led by Danielle Fraser, a graduate of Ryerson University’s Master of Digital Media program, this mobile app will organize the consignment of wheelchairs at airports while introducing an interface that could provide both customers and employees with a new way of communicating.

AccessNow

Led by award-winning Ryerson alumna Maayan Ziv, this mobile app and web platform uses crowdsourcing to collect and share accessibility information on an interactive map. Users can search for specific locations or browse the app to discover accessibility nearby. Team members include Nick Schoenhoff and Colin Gagich.

Aorte Fitness Inc.

Ryerson students Robert Carriere and Ibukunoluwa Oluwayomi are founders of Aorte Fitness. Their goal is to rehabilitate and optimize balance and strength using form-accurate force distribution and benchmark metrics. A user wearing the Kinetic Resistance Apparatus can exercise while gaining force resistance. It permits calibration and movement, dependent solely on the user’s mobility.

BoxTalk

This open, text-free, digital media sharing platform was created by Ryerson graduate student Bezayit Menker. It will utilize human-centered design principles to create an equal access environment, allowing users to interact with audio and video formats. This endeavour aims to make the internet a more inclusive environment by creating opportunities for users with print-related disabilities to access online content on an even playing field with their counterparts.

Carebuddy

Founded by Ryerson alumna Dr. Reza Aria, Project Lead, and Dr. Norm Archer, Health Informatics Expert, Carebuddy is a single cloud-based platform where patients can design and develop their own health care plan and transfer meaningful information among multiple medical devices and software. The proposed solution is specifically important for persons with disabilities or seniors who are dealing with chronic illnesses and are in need of long-term care.

Dynamenu

Dynamenu’s goal is to create a mobile app that would accessibly present a restaurant menu based on the user’s location when dining out. The app was developed by Kevin Shaw, a Ryerson graduate, to benefit consumers living with vision loss who find it difficult to read restaurant menus independently. The dynamic menu app would require no searching and present the menu in an accessible way to be navigable by screen readers, screen magnifiers, or portable braille displays.

EasyFit

The EasyFit app aims to be a digital tool for physicians to provide exercise prescription technology and evidence-based health information for patients with chronic diseases. The mission is to bridge the gap in accessibility of culturally relevant, easy-to-understand physical activity and nutrition information through exercise. The team, comprised of Ermias Nagatu, current Ryerson Biomedical Science student Zeeniya Zuhair, Dr. Kashif Pirzada, and Farid Ahmad, is committed to supporting the end of major health issues in aging and disabled populations.

Flusher

For those suffering from IBS, access to safe and appropriate washrooms can affect mobility and inclusion in public spaces and events. As a mobile app, Flusher will increase access to washroom facilities by allowing users to opt to purchase a membership that enables them to access premium washroom facilities in underserved or particularly busy locations. The team is comprised of Ryan Hill, Andrea McEwan, Ryerson alumnus Andrew Giffen, and Bicheng (Ben) Huang.

Inclusive Innovation: Creating with Everyone in Mind

Current Ryerson students Katlynn Sverko and Samuel Legros will be creating an online space that provides resources for those interested in creating accessible projects and companies. The goal of their project is to educate the innovative community on how to successfully implement accessible options, while addressing the fact that startups are already over burdened and being pulled in many different directions.

In-Touch Digital Platform for Unconventional Learners

Angelique Paul, a recent graduate of Ryerson’s Master of Digital Media program, will be leading the development of In-Touch with team members Alevtina Naumova and Ahmed Sagarwala. In-touch is an adaptive learning technology that will address the wide range of abilities and learning styles suggested by the definition of alternative learners. It aims to serve as a safe online space for students to receive customized help.

Monarch

Monarch’s innovative clothing solution helps people who require assistive dressing, as well as their caregivers. Determined to treat elders with respect, they created an innovative, patent-pending system that reduces the amount of body manipulation required for dressing by around 75 percent. The team includes Patricia Quinn, Kristine Goulet, Sherri Bender, Virginia Quinn, and Ryerson students Sonia Prancho and Isabel Joson.

The Self-Care Journal

The Self-Care Journal is a digital and print quarterly periodical founded by Ryerson student River-Jordan Allick. Using multimedia such as images, text, audio, video, podcasts, and music, this journal aims to be the sole interactive digital publication on the market that specifically addresses the problems, lives, and practices of the mental health community.

Simultaneous tDCS & EEG for Parkinson’s Disease (STEP) Band Kit

Ryerson students Raj Bhatt and Divya Sharma will be working on the Simultaneous tDCS & EEG for Parkinson’s disease (STEP) Band Kit, which will conduct EEG (electroencephalography) and tDCS (transcranial direct current stimulation) to map irregularities in brain waves and treat them respectively. Users may include but are not limited to patients suffering from Parkinson’s, epilepsy, mobility issues, depression, anxiety, or mood swings.

SmallTalk

Harry Dearden, a recent graduate from the Master of Digital Media program at Ryerson and a Zone Learning participant, developed SmallTalk, an app to empower those who are undergoing therapy to achieve their counselling goals. Users will be able to record, track, and share triggers or moments of stress outside of the session.

tecla-e

Currently incubating at the DMZ, Komodo OpenLab’s tecla-e is an assistive device giving people with upper-body mobility impairments the ability to fully access smart devices and technology while promoting a more sustainable development of inclusive products and services. Project lead Mauricio Meza is a Ryerson alumnus and team members include Kaela Malozewski, Marcela Correa Villada, and current Ryerson graduate student Katlynn Sverko.

Weardasun

Ryerson Engineering student Roya Zadmajid and Amir Sadeghzadeh will be working to develop Weardasun. Weardasun is a smart heated technology found in hats, gloves, and scarves that will eliminate limitations and inconveniences experienced by individuals or seniors with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, Raynaud’s and Dupuytren’s diseases, migraines, arthritis, and other conditions) during blasts of cold seasons.

Wireless Emergency Response System

Team AUT is dedicated to developing a Wireless Emergency Response System for centres that support inclusion and safety such as The South Asian Autism Awareness Centre (SAAAC) and may be expanded to hospitals and retirement homes. The innovative alarm system will allow the instructors to alert the emergency response team without disrupting the classroom and the adjacent rooms. Team AUT consists of current Ryerson students Camila Sanchez, Communications Engineer, and Abdelrahman Abdou, Lead Engineer.

Contact

For any inquiries on the application process, please contact Darren Cooper, Manager, Accessibility Project, at 416.979.5000, ext. 2550, or d5cooper@ryerson.ca.


About the Accessibility Project

Accessibility is a core value that is central to The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, evidenced through programs that support a wide range of students from diverse backgrounds. As the architect of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and currently Dean of one of the leading online learning units in the country, Dr. Marie Bountrogianni is a champion for accessibility and technology. Ryerson University has a deep commitment to societal relevance, diversity and inclusion and also houses the DMZ, a top ranked incubator for startups. As The Chang School continues to build hands-on opportunities through the newly launched Experiential Learning Exchange (ELX), a dedicated hub to foster technological innovations that support accessibility, it will help reflect our core values of equity, diversity and inclusion, draw on the experience from the DMZ and continue to strengthen Ryerson University’s reputation in fostering innovation and real-world societal relevance.

The Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University and DMZ