The Canadian government is looking to make digital technology truly accessible. The Accessible Technology Program is a co-funding initiative to encourage the development of new assistive and adaptive digital devices and technologies. Private sector firms, not-for-profits and research institutions can apply for funding.
The program aims to fund projects such as screen readers, alternative keyboards and refreshable braille displays. The aim is also to develop different kinds of software or apps that will allow those with disabilities to learn and become fluent with programs necessary to excel in the well-paid careers of the tech sector.
The government has recognized that the internet is an important gateway to developing and maintaining professional networks in a digital economy, and that many Canadians cannot take advantage of the benefits. Mainstream technologies will often decrease in price and become more readily available as their software is made easier to produce and develop, but the same is not true for assistive and adaptive devices. They often increase in price because the devices must be specialized and customized for the user’s needs.
The initiative will grant up to $4 million per year to qualifying projects. Find out about the application process and project deadlines here.