Tetra Ryerson: Breaking Barriers To Accessibility

by Jennifer Eshoua, 4th year, Biomedical Engineering

Ryerson’s STEM Career Fair is being held from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm on September 28 Kerr Hall West Upper Gym. The journey to meaningful employment is a chapter in every student’s #RoadFromRyerson story.  We’ve invited Ryerson STEM students to share their professional development stories via the Path to Career blog series. Today’s blog is about how one student run group is using innovation in STEM to champion Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)

Q: Jennifer, through your work in TETRA, how are you working towards strengthening EDI? 

A: Tetra Ryerson is a student run group that creates assistive devices for individuals with disabilities. Tetra’s goal is to create a more inclusive space for both the users and the community. We operate on a client need basis, in which the client or organization comes forward seeking assistance. We then launch applications to the entire student body, as we are welcoming to any student from each background. The projects allow students to work directly organizations and support staff to better understand the need and functionality. Each of our projects have been geared towards Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives. Examples include, an audible hockey puck for a visually impaired team, emergency alarm system for an children’s Autism center, an adjustable broom handle for variously abled individuals, a muscle controlled prosthesis and weight bearing cast for rehabilitation patients.

In addition to the projects we have worked on and continue to launch each year, we host a variety of events to engage students and the community to bring awareness to inclusive initiatives. In the past we have hosted a wheelchair basketball tournament open to any community member at Ryerson, as well as a visual impairment awareness event in which we provide visual sensors to interested participants. We host an annual abilities conference, in which community members like Robert Hampson, share their story, experience, and successes with students. It’s important our work is intentional and draws on the experiences of of Ryerson students. At the conference, students tackle a case study on EDI and accessibility constraints in the workplace and everyday life.

Tetra is always welcoming new members and new ideas.  You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkdIn, Snapchat, and at tetraryerson.ca. We hope that through fostering innovation and building communities,  we create a more inclusive environment for all.

Jennifer Eshoua is a 4th year Biomedical Engineering student at Ryerson and President of Tetra Ryerson. She is a recipient of the Stage 1 Norman Esch Engineering and Entrepreneurship Award, and took part in an interdisciplinary team that received recognition from Nasa on a Waste Management design project. She loves nothing more than creating ideas and projects that create access. She plans on continuing her work with creating assistive medical devices to further enhance medical efforts and abilities.