The Research and Education in Accessibility, Design, and Innovation (READi) training program began its fourth year with a virtual symposium for the first time. READi students and faculty shared what they learned over the previousyear, through multidisciplinary research and practice at Carleton University, University of Ottawa and Queen’s University, in collaboration with many organizations dedicated to improving accessibility.

READi is unique with its cohorts of students from multiple universities, who retain a research focus in their home programs (e.g., engineering, information technology, design, human-computer interaction, and music), and adds theory and practice (learning by doing) in accessibility under the guidance of an interdisciplinary team. READi acknowledges the importance of affective learning (emotion/feeling), where trainees not only gain the knowledge and skills to meet accessibility needs (i.e., cognitive learning) but also develop the inspiration and motivation to do so.

The event included a Keynote from Sarah Herrlinger, Director of Global Accessibility Policy & Initiatives at Apple, entitled “Accessibility at Apple: Innovating for All” and a talk from Kim Kilpatrick, titled, “Using Technology Every Day” on her experience with evolving technology as a blind person. The third cohort of READi students presented on their Action Team Projects, discussing the accessibility issue they tackled, the knowledge and ideas that were developed, and their learning journey, and all READi students spoke to their experiences in the program, sharing the challenges they faced and what they gained along the way.

The student presentations can be viewed at the link below.

Kingston Circus Arts Presentation

Senior Watch Old Ottawa South Presentation

Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County Presentation

Computer Wise Presentation