Accessibility Research Lab

Two people, one visually impaired, using their phones.

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Mohawk's accessibility researchers, along with students in the Accessible Media Production Program, provide expertise to help industry partners solve their digital accessibility challenges. Together, we combine accessibility and usability knowledge to deliver solutions that help organizations meet their accessibility requirements. Each project is approached with an accessible and evidence-based research lens looking at an industry problem, proposing a solution, and then working on applying the student’s knowledge to address the solution. Our inclusive design process ensures that accessibility and inclusion is considered at each stage and that users with disabilities are part of every step.

Services

Get the support you need to build accessible solutions. 

Needs Assessment and Website Audit

Using an evidence-based approach, the Accessibility Research Lab helps you identify opportunities to improve and redesign your e-commerce solutions and digital products to support the needs of people with disabilities and comply with provincial and federal accessibility legislation. The research team can also work side-by-side with your software development team to improve your website's user experience by conducting a website audit to help you meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Accessibility User Testing

The Accessibility Research Lab can support product development with specialized usability testing, leveraging the skills and knowledge of end-users who use assistive technologies to access digital content. Members of the disability community can help ensure that your product is ready to be commercialized or help with product improvements that will make a difference to your future sales. 

Accessible Content Creation 

The Accessibility Research Lab helps you research, evaluate and implement accessibility tools to support the design of content that meets the needs of people with disabilities. 

Applied research projects can support the integration and deployment of tools that can assist with:

  • Closed captioning, 
  • Described and integrated described video,
  • Audio transcription,
  • ASL/LSQ translation,
  • Alternative and conversion-ready formats,
  • Accessible document creation and remediation.

Automatic and Functional Testing

The Accessibility Research Lab has access to a wide range of assistive technology software and hardware to support automatic and functional testing for accessibility. Either as a stand-alone research project or in conjunction with another service, the research team can help you test and evaluate your website or software in order to create accessible and usable content that meets the complexity and variability of human diversity.

Available assistive technology includes screen readers, screen magnifiers, voice recognition solutions, web-based accessibility tools, keyboards, braille displays and switches.  

 

 

CapScribe 2 logo

CapScribe 2

The original CapScribe digital video captioning and description suite was limited in platform and operating system compatibility. Mohawk partnered with Inclusive Media and Design in breathing new life into CapScribe, a 20-year-old tool.

Read more about CapScribe 2
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QReserve

QReserve, a Hamilton-based provider of workplace scheduling software, asked Mohawk’s Accessibility Research Lab to evaluate its products for accessibility.

 

Read more about Q-Reserve

 

Headshot of Jennifer Curry Jahnke

Jennifer Curry Jahnke, Researcher, Accessibility Lab

Jennifer Curry Jahnke is the program coordinator for Mohawk’s Accessible Media Production Program and the lead researcher with the Accessibility Lab. Since 1994, Jennifer has been teaching, supporting and advocating for people with disabilities. Jennifer is a committee member for the AODA Education Standards Development & K-12/PSE Technical Committees. As the former AODA Project Manager and ALS Case Manager/Counsellor at Mohawk College, Jennifer brings 20+ years of experience working in the disability community. A graduate of CSUN’s Communicative Disorder program (with a career in the field of speech, language, and AAC), Jennifer also holds a CDA post-graduate diploma, ALS Interpreter/Communicator diploma and Deaf-Blind Intervenor certificate. 

jennifer.jahnke [at] mohawkcollege.ca (Contact Jennifer)

 

Thank you to our funding partners

     Ontario Centre of Innovation Logo           Broadcasting Accessibility Fund Logo

About IDEAWORKS

The Accessibility Research Lab is part of IDEAWORKS, Mohawk’s active hub of applied research and innovation. IDEAWORKS accelerates Canadian and global innovation by supporting industry access to expert researchers, specialized facilities and world-class technologies.

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