Building a more accessible and inclusive community

On Saturday, November 30, the City of Mississauga hosted the SMRTCTY Idea Jam in collaboration with the Mississauga Library. The event brought the community together to explore ways of using technology to make the City’s services more accessible and inclusive.

At the event, teams were challenged to come up with ideas on how digital screens could be used to improve accessibility and inclusion at the City.

After spending the day working on their ideas, teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges which included a representative from the City, ICUBE UTM and CNIB. The ideas were evaluated based on their consideration of accessibility and inclusion, feasibility, creativity, and whether the ideas were citizen-focused.

Idea Jam winners

  • Mississauga Open Doors Assistant (MODA) won first place for their online instant messaging platform allowing residents to get real-time answers to their questions about City programs and services. Their app could also be used to open accessible doors to avoid having to push a button.
  • MiPass won second place for their smartphone app allowing residents to send information to a bus driver prior to boarding a bus (e.g. having a bike, needing a wheelchair lift).
  • Inclusive Transit won third place for their smartphone app allowing residents to receive real-time information while they wait for their bus (e.g. estimated arrival time) in accessible text or audio format.

Participants were also treated to a talk from Microsoft Accessibility Lead Ricardo Wagner and got to learn more about how the City is improving accessibility in Mississauga from presentations by the Mississauga Library and the City’s Accessibility Specialist.

While working on their ideas, teams had access to mentorship from City staff, including Library and Information Technology staff and Facility and Property Management’s Accessibility Planning team. Members of the City’s Accessibility Advisory Committee and industry experts were also available to provide guidance, including MicrosoftCNIBICUBE UTMHackernest Mississauga and Amazon. Participants were also taught brainstorming and presentation skills by RIC Centre and EDGE Sheridan College.

Congratulations to all of the teams for their hard work and innovative ideas. Mississauga residents can look forward to more SMRTCTY events in 2020.

For more information about SMRTCTY Mississauga, visit smartcity.mississauga.ca.

Photo: Team MODA, winners of the 2019 Idea Jam, with Shawn Slack, Director, Information Technology, City of Mississauga, Kevin Shaw, Program Manager for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, CNIB and Ignacio Mongrell, Assistant Director, ICUBE UTM.

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