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Accessibility: How Will It Impact the Development Process of Information Technology?

Professor Mignerat

The Canadian Accessibility Act (S.C. 2019) states that technology must be accessible to all Canadians. Today, this is (very) relatively the case for people who experience physical disabilities because some interfaces provide or allow for optional adaptations. This is not the case for people with cognitive or sensory disabilities, particularly because it is not just the interface that needs to be adapted, but the logic of the application itself that needs to be addressed.

IT professionals are now called upon to quickly remove any element that would prevent people with a physical, intellectual or cognitive disability from fully and equally participating in society. These obstacles can become a barrier for fostering what is referred to as Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). 

How does this impact the development process of IT? What are the main recommendations in terms of standards and best practices? These are some of the questions that Muriel Mignerat, Associate Professor at the Telfer School of Management, will address in her new research project to better understand the unique features of the IT development process in the context of EDI. For her new project, she has been awarded a Telfer School of Management Research Grant (SMRG).

Who will benefit from this research?

Professor Mignerat"I wish to contribute to research in the field of IT by analyzing the development process of information systems from a new angle, that of equity, diversity and inclusion. The development process can be challenged by the diversity of users who need to be accommodated, especially those who experience cognitive and sensory disabilities. I think that many of our IT models will have to be reviewed from this angle, but it seems to me that the development cycle is the most fundamental and pressing issue to address in practice now."

-Muriel Mignerat

About the Author

Lidiane Cunha a été agente de la mobilisation des connaissances en matière de recherche à l'École de gestion Telfer de 2017 à 2022. Elle a notamment traduit des projets de recherche et des résultats complexes en un langage accessible, et a élaboré des histoires d'impact, des vidéos et des infographies. De plus, elle a fourni des conseils en matière de communication pour aider les administrateurs principaux, les membres du corps professoral et de la population étudiante aux études supérieures à rehausser le profil de la recherche à Telfer. Elle a élaboré une stratégie de communication pour le bureau de la recherche de Telfer, en plus de faire participer les diplômé.e.s et les partenaires communautaires à des initiatives visant à faire connaître la recherche de Telfer.<br><br>Lidiane Cunha was a Research Knowledge Mobilization Officer at Telfer from 2017 to 2022. She translated complex research projects and findings into plain language and developed impact stories, videos, and infographics. She also provided communications advice to help senior administrators, professors, and graduate students raise the research profile of the Telfer School of Management; developed a communications strategy for Telfer’s Research office; and engaged alumni and community partners in initiatives to raise awareness about Telfer’s research.