Montreal’s Adaptech Research Network consists of a team of academics, students and consumers. We conduct research involving college and university students with a variety of disabilities in Canada. We are based at Dawson College in Montreal and have been in existence since 1996.
Our areas of focus are the use and accessibility of information and communication technologies in postsecondary education, facilitators and barriers to academic success, employment of recent postsecondary graduates, and free or inexpensive software useful to students with various disabilities.
We conduct our research bilingually and are funded by both federal and provincial grants. Our goal is to provide empirically based information to assist and inform decision making that ensures that new policies and new information and communication technologies reflect the needs and concerns of a variety of stakeholders, including college and university students with a variety of disabilities, the professors who teach them, and the campus disability service providers who make technological, adaptive, and other supports available to the higher education community.
The Adaptech Research Network has developed a number of resources over the years that may be helpful to members of the broader community of individuals with disabilities, including an extensive database of free and inexpensive assistive technologies and a set of demonstration videos highlighting the capabilities of some of these tools. The free and inexpensive assistive technology database lists technologies that can help people with disabilities in school, at work or in everyday life. It can be found at the following address: http://adaptech.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/en/downloads.
We are currently working on a study on employment in graduates with disabilities. Our goal is to identify the most effective strategies and tips for job searching. We just finished the first phase of this project, for which we interviewed graduates with disabilities who have been successful in obtaining employment. Preliminary results of this study demonstrate that networking and contacts are extremely important in the job search process. It also seems that internships or volunteering can also be a good gateway to the labor market. For complete results of this important study, check our website in the summer of 2016 (http://adaptech.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/en/research).