About Semaphore Who are we and what do we do?

Semaphore is a research cluster at the iSchool, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, dedicated to inclusive design in the area of mobile and pervasive computing. 

Semaphore is led by Director Professor Sara Grimes (Faculty of Information) and its associated labs are headed by Professor Matt Ratto (Faculty of Information), Professor Michelle Murphy (Department of History), and Professor Rhonda McEwen (Institute of Communication, Culture and Information Technology). Semaphore is part of the Inclusive Design Institute, and funded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) New Initiatives Fund and associated ORF-RE. The IDI effort is interdisciplinary and cross-institutional, involving researchers from eight collaborating partner institutions across several departments and fields.

For more info and updates from Semaphore research projects, please follow us at https://twitter.com/semaphoreTO


Adaptive Gaming

There is growing evidence that digital games can fulfill a number of important functions in the lives of disabled children and adults. Games that draw upon geolocation data, physical movement and other non-traditional forms of user interaction are especially promising in this regard, as suggested by recent studies demonstrating how kinetic game systems such as the Nintendo Wii can facilitate entry into gaming for disabled players, both as a novel and entertaining leisure activity, as well as an innovative approach to rehabilitation and exercise.

Learn more

Participatory Culture

In keeping with increasing autonomy, mobile computing devices allow not only the retrieval of context-specific information, but also the active participation of users in the co-construction of information that is tied to particular places and objects and potentially shared across a community of users.

Learn more

Sensory Information Processing

Context-aware services are of particular importance to those with cognitive disabilities and/or neurological impairments that affect communication. Persons diagnosed with aphasia, autism spectrum disorders, pervasive developmental disorders, and those with other mild intellectual disabilities are enabled by mobile devices with context-aware services that offer visual information as cues to improve their understanding of their spatial environment.

Learn more