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Ryerson event showcases innovation in accessibility solutions

Last Updated Apr 14, 2019 at 9:48 pm EDT

File photo of Ryerson University. CITYNEWS

After evaluating more than 100 GTA washrooms, a group of Ryerson graduates have developed an app that matches the appropriate facilities to the preferences of users.

“Flusher” is just one of several concepts that will be shown at the ‘Chang School’s Accessibility Hub’ Monday afternoon. It goes beyond finding the nearest washroom and matches users with facilities based on criteria such as degree of privacy, washrooms in buildings monitored by security and having sinks within stalls.

The hub showcases young entrepreneurs who want to make Toronto more accessible and inclusive.

The participants are finalists of a community and grant program called The Accessibility Project — a collaboration between The Chang School, DMZ, and Sandbox by DMZ. It supports the development of ideas and solutions for people with disabilities, aging populations, and minority groups and offers up to $25,000 in funding.

Most concepts highlighted at the event are currently in beta testing mode.

Other projects being presented include:

  • AccessNow: AccessNow is a mobile app and web platform that crowdsources accessiblity information and shares it on an interactive map – like a “Yelp of accessibility.” Users can either search for specific locations or browse the app to find accessible venues, gyms, restaurants and more.
  • Menuvox: Menuvox is a mobile app for those who find it difficult to read menus when dining out. It aims to automatically find nearby restaurants and present menus in an accessible way to be navigable by screen readers, screen magnifiers, or portable braille displays. The mobile app uses GPS, WiFi positioning, and Bluetooth beacons to accurately and dynamically display the menu for the restaurant.
  • Awaits: Awaits is a mobile app that aims to automate the consignment of wheelchairs at airports. It will introduce an interface to provide both customers and employees with a new way of communicating, whereby the customer can request or change their needs in advance or check the status of the wheelchair while waiting for it at the airport before reaching security. Airline employees will also be able to keep customers updated while tracking the location of all the wheelchairs.

The event runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Ryerson University.

Click here for a full list of finalists.