Accessible Communications

Research partnerships with Ontario Universities develop...

the Tecla Shield 3, an assistive technology that enables people with upper-body mobility impairment to gain full access to their smartphones, providing them with the ability to communicate independently on their devices. 

Smartphone technology has been designed for people with good manual dexterity. As such, people with upper-body mobility issues, including those with physical disabilities and the frail elderly, can experience difficulties using their smartphones. With funding from NSERC, IRAP, the Canadian Frailty Network and Age-Well, Ryerson University’s Deb Fels partnered with Komodo OpenLab to complete usability testing of Tecla, a device that allows users with mobility impairment to operate a smartphone. The device customizes the controls to accept a wide range of hands-free gestures — even blinking, or blowing air — to activate a switch and access digital apps.

By helping to develop this inclusive technology, Fels is supporting a more independent lifestyle for people with mobility issues, producing an invaluable tool to help them communicate and make the workplace and home more accessible.

tecla