Easter Seals Canada’s AccessAbility Innovations Student Competition brings together young visionaries and inventors to showcase ideas and concepts with the potential to enhance the lives of people living with disabilities.
Toronto, March 2020 – On March 11, 2020, Easter Seals Canada hosted its Community Conference at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto. The aim of the conference was to convene representatives from all sectors of society – from community members to government officials and policy makers, businesses and employers, academics and researchers, and public sector and non-profit organizations – to discuss pressing issues and challenges facing the disability community and best practices and potential solutions to address these issues. Entitled “Beyond Social Inclusion,” the conference examined the intersecting themes of employment, education and income disparity for the disability community. Over 170 participants from over 90+ organizations attended the event.
The conference was also the stage for a unique event that was being held in parallel: The AccessAbility Innovations Student Fair and Competition. Displaying their concepts and even early prototypes were six student teams which had been shortlisted and invited to showcase their concepts to the conference participants and a judging panel. The teams were selected from submissions received from students in grades 10, 11 and 12 who are attending school or who are residents of Toronto, Hamilton, and the Peel, York and Durham regions.
The concepts and ideas presented by the shortlisted teams ranged from phone applications that would help to improve safety for people who are deaf or living with hearing impairments, to wearable technology that could enhance functionality and independence for people who are visually and/or hearing impaired.