‘Breaking barriers with technology’ conference to be held at York

Technology that breaks barriers for people with disabilities will be the focus of a conference on Thursday organized by the York/Seneca Institute for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (YSIMSTE).

Laser surgery, smart homes, kneeling buses and myo-electric limbs, are a few of the leading technologies that improve quality of life for people with disabilities. Along with the latest innovations in those technologies, participants will learn about sound field technologies to maximize hearing and listening in the classroom, assistive technologies for people with visual impairments, barrier-free accessibility and a variety of issues including how to make school curriculum work for all students.

“Technology is a powerful tool to promote social justice and equity,” said York Faculty of Education Professor Margaret Sinclair, who is co-director of YSIMSTE with Laurel Schollen, dean of Applied Science & Engineering Technology at Seneca. “We want teacher candidates at York to see how technologies can be used not only to increase accessibility, but to improve learning opportunities and, therefore, opportunities in life,” said Sinclair.

Along with teacher candidates from York’s Faculty of Education and technology students from Seneca College, the conference will attract professors from both institutions, educators from schools in Greater Toronto and the surrounding areas, policy makers and members of the public. 

Students from York University and a high school will speak about their use of assistive technology. The Laser Eagles Art Guild will also be on hand to demonstrate how a person with a disability can use a laser pointer to produce a painting.

The conference, entitled Redefining the Possible: Breaking Barriers with Technology, will be held from 8:30am to 4pm April 26 in the Seneca@York building and Accolade East.

To view the program or register, visit www.ysimste.ca.