Ontario Showcasing Cutting-Edge Accessibility Technology
Province Highlights World-Class Ontario Companies
Ontario is hosting the first ever Accessibility Innovation Showcase, an official event of the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games, from Saturday, August 8 to Monday, August 10, 2015 at the MaRS Discovery District.
Over 50 companies will demonstrate innovations in technologies and assistive devices that can benefit people with disabilities, their families and employers across Ontario. Companies will have an opportunity to connect with key investors and pitch ideas to help speed up the development of their products, such as exoskeletons and wearables, prosthetics, specialized applications, personalized robotics, and treatments and therapies delivered by smartphone.
The showcase is open to the public and admission is free. Opening hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday. Families and members of the public can experience and learn about accessibility technologies first-hand through the Kids Zone and Sport Zone, guided accessibility tours, and inspiring speakers and entertainers.
Ontario has a plan to reach its goal of being accessible by 2025, building on the foundation of the province's landmark Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The plan will engage employers to give people with disabilities an opportunity to participate in the workforce, addressing a growing skills shortage in a number of important sectors. The plan also promotes a cultural shift in Ontario, where everyone can reach his or her full potential by making accessibility a way of life for everyone in our province.
Supporting an accessible province is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- In addition to over 50 interactive exhibits, the showcase includes an assistive technology hackathon competition, technology pitch competition, accessibility tours of Toronto with Jane’s Walk and a tour of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute’s iDAPT lab.
- In June 2015, Ontario celebrated the 10th anniversary of the landmark Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
- The showcase is being held in association with the United States Consulate General in Toronto. This year, the United States is marking the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“The kick-off of the 2015 Parapan Am Games is the perfect time to showcase innovative Ontario-based companies creating life-changing accessible technologies. Our government is proud to invest in the skills and talents of our people and businesses that are creating new products to help people with disabilities achieve their full potential. These investments also position our economy for new and transformative opportunities for strong growth in the future.”
“We’re pleased to be partnering on the Accessibility Innovation Showcase. This is a perfect way to highlight the values embodied in the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 10th anniversary of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act! Capitalizing on the 2015 Parapan Am Games in Toronto, this showcase provides an ideal opportunity both to stimulate investment and economic growth and demonstrate that disability rights are a fundamental element of democracy.”
Bruce A. Heyman
“The International Paralympic Committee is pleased to support the first-ever Accessibility Innovation Showcase. Technology can make a significant difference in making the lives of everyone easier and more productive. For para-athletes, this can be the difference between sitting on the sidelines or being on the court.”
Sir Philip Craven