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Assistive Technology in Canada Ontario Library Association Toronto January 30, 2009
Legislative Situation • Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms • prohibits discrimination of grounds of disability • Canadian Human Rights Act • Employment Equity Act • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
Why Federal Involvement? • Market fragmentation means many disabilities will never be addressed or only be partially addressed • Market gaps due to intermediation: AT users may not be buyers (purchasing done by medical plans and other support programs) • Government support needed to strengthen sector’s ability to deliver innovative solutions for a wider range of disabilities • This could accelerate the developmentof solutions, help more persons with disabilities integrate into society and the economy, and thus reduce the overall cost of disabilities to the economy
The AT Industry in Canada • Over 650 companies in every part of the country • All are SMEs, few are publicly traded • The wide variety of disabilities means extreme fragmentation of the marketplace • Costs of development and commercialization are significant while the number of users for any particular technology may be small • As a result, it is hard for these companies to recoup their investment
Assistive Devices Industry Office • Advocacy, sector promotion, awareness raising, identification of market gaps • Accessible News • Websites • Development of standards to ensure new technologies accommodate disabilities • Barrier Free Design • Automated Banking Machine • Telephone keypads • Interactive Devices • Participate in International activities • TEITAC Section 508/255 renewal • WCAG 2.0
Contact us: Assistive Devices Industry Office Industry Canada 3701 Carling Avenue Ottawa Ontario CANADA K2H 8S2 Tel: 613-990-4297, Fax: 613-998-5923 Email: email@example.com