The first Accessibility Technology Conference is labelled as a success.
The conference took about a year to set up, and had a big turnout. Around 30 vendors, all specializing in accessible technology, brought out their best items to the Cardinal Carter Library.
Though the conference was mainly focused on the technology and business of accessible technology, it was also about making a network between adaptive and assistive technologists.
Doug Mantle an Assistive Technology Support Specialist says, “I really hope there’s professional development; the collaboration, the forming of new partnerships between the participants and the vendors in all different directions. And most importantly the launch of The Network of Ontario Assistive Technologists, so that we can continue beyond here today. I don’t want it to end here today.”
The new network is meant to bounce ideas around and to solve problems regarding technology.
Michelle Cadarette, an Adaptive Technologist says, “The colleges have something called CCDI [College Committee on Disability Issues] where there’s a list, where you can communicate with difference colleges. The universities are kind of separate, so that’s where the network of assistive technologists is going to come and kind of fill that gap. And a lot of students will go from college to university or vice versa, so that’ll kind of ease their experience when they’re going back and forth in terms with what resources are available.”
It is not confirmed that there will be another conference but the committee is hopeful.
Cadarette says, “The plan is to have it more frequent than once in a lifetime. So, maybe annual, every other year, depends on what we agree on. Because it is a lot of work. We don’t have next year’s date set.