As data becomes the primary basis for determining truth and value, and data science drives the opportunities and risks of our digital economy, people with disabilities are likely to become more and more marginalized if their needs are not considered in this quickly ascending domain. There is a small but quickly closing window to act proactively to curtail the risks and catch the opportunities for people experiencing disabilities.
The current data ecosystem — an evolving system used to collect and analyze data to provide insights into the needs and habits of its users — focuses on the needs of the majority. As people experiencing disabilities are very different from each other, there are no adequate representative sample groups for predictive analytics. Their needs are either not captured in data, eliminated from the data set as outliers, or overwhelmed by majority data. An inclusive and balanced data ecosystem ensures that the needs of its minorities, such as persons with disabilities, are valued and not overlooked.
We Count, a project of the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University, was created to address bias, discrimination and barriers to participation and employment for persons with disabilities within the field of data science and data-driven systems.
As the data ecosystem continues to evolve, We Count is working closely with the disability community and our established network of partners to identify and solve key accessibility challenges.
To address bias and discrimination within the field of data science and data-driven systems and create inclusive, innovative machine learning strategies that will recognize, understand and serve people with disabilities.
An innovative and fair data ecosystem that serves diversity through opportunity and outcomes.
- Increase participation of people with disabilities in the data economy
- Address exclusion and bias against people with disabilities in data systems
- Ensure that people with disabilities help to shape the evolution of the data economy
- Increase employment of persons with disabilities in the data industry
- Decrease vulnerability of persons with disabilities to data abuse and misuse
We Count Advisory Panel
- Michael Bach, IRIS
- Sara Basson, Google
- Pina D’Intino, Aequum Global Access
- Rich Donovan, Return on Disability Group
- Charles Finley, VP Marcomms, Co-founder/Chair Code for Canada
- Catherine Frazee, Retired Professor, Ryerson School for Disability Studies
- Megan Lawrence, Microsoft
- Yazmine Laroche, Treasury Board Secretariat Canada
- Clayton H Lewis, UC Boulder
- Wendy Porch, Centre for Independent Living Toronto
- Victor Santiago Pineda, World Enabled Organization
- Shea Tanis, Coleman Institute
- Shari Trewin, IBM
Sign up to learn more about We Count
Are you interested in hearing about We Count activities or do you want to be contacted to learn about ways you can participate? If yes then send us your contact information on our contact form.