Deborah Fels


Photography by Mark Blinch

Curriculum Vitae Publication List Research Funding Training of Highly Qualified Personnel 

Curriculum Vitae

Deborah Fels, M.H.Sc., Ph.D., P.Eng.

Address: Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management Phone: (416) 979-5000 ext. 7619 E-Mail: Ryerson University 350 Victoria St. Toronto, Ont. Canada M5B 2K3


1990 – 1994

University of Toronto. Awarded a Ph.D. in Human Factors, Department of Industrial Engineering. Area of specialization Human Factors and Accessibility to Computer Systems for People with Disabilities. Thesis title: Evaluation of an Output Device Independent Vocabulary for Computer Feedback, completed July 7, 1994. Thesis supervisor: Dr. Mark Chignell

1985 – 1987

University of Toronto. Awarded an M.H.Sc degree in Clinical Engineering. Thesis: Device Independent Access to Computer-Based Systems for the Disabled. Thesis supervisor: Dr. S. Naumann.

1980 – 1984

University of Guelph. Awarded a B.Sc. in Biological Engineering.

Internship Experience


The Montreal General Hospital. Supervisor: Mr. R. Ross. Project Involvement: 1) designed and constructed a datalogger for heat flux measurements during experimentally induced hypothermia; 2) designed and built a lock mechanism for wheelchairs; 3) provided support for 171 hospital personal computers including a report on computer management services for PC's; 4) prepared a report on monitoring a patient's inspiratory and expiratory gases during anesthetic; 5) produced a report on laser safety and laser purchases.

1986 – 1987

Hugh MacMillan Medical Centre. Supervisor: Dr. S. Naumann. Project Involvement: thesis project.


The Wellesley Hospital, Supervisor: Mr. W. Woodley Project Involvement: 1) laser safety; 2) installation of a control system for an ultraviolet light booth; 3) initial study of repair and maintenance requirements for clinical laboratory equipment; 4) initial study for acquiring a LAN; and 5) produced a report on technology management.

Employment History

Sept. 1995 – present

Full Professor, Tenured (tenure received April 1999, full professor status received March 2009, appointed to School of Graduate Studies, 1999) School of Information Technology Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ont. Responsibilities: Prepare and give lecture series for ITM/AIM courses. Prepare and grade assignments and exams. Current assignment: ITM445 Multimedia in Business; ITM530 Interaction for multimedia; and ITM720 Advanced multimedia projects. Carry out research activities. Participate on graduate student committees, and in supervision of graduate and undergraduate students. In July 1996 became Director of the Centre for Learning Technologies (CLT). Appointed interim director of the MBA/MTI and MMSc program – Jan 2011-July 2011.

Nov. 1994 – 1995

Part-time Researcher Hugh MacMillan Rehabilitation Centre, Toronto, Ont. Responsibilities: Analyze Northern Telecom's Visit Teleconferencing/multi-media System for access by people with disabilities. Prepare a complete task analysis of the system. Generate visual keyboard access to the system using WiViK (a Windows visual keyboard developed at Hugh MacMillan for access to Windows for people with disabilities). Generate and prepare grant proposals for future work related to this initial project and to support other initiatives undertaken by Hugh MacMillan.

Sept. 1993 – 1995

Part-time Assistant Professor, Contract Position (3 yrs) University of Guelph, Department of Computing and Information Science, Guelph, Ont. Responsibilities: Organize, prepare and give lecture series for computing science courses as requested. Assignments: 27-202 Computer Organization. Other assignments: 27-430 Human-Computer Interaction. Supervise teaching assistants and marking assistants assigned to these courses. Participate on graduate student committees, and in supervision of graduate students.

Jan – Apr. 1992

Lecturer University of Toronto. Department of Industrial Engineering. Toronto, Ont. Responsibilities: Organize, prepare and give lecture series for IND309S Design Methodologies in Industrial Engineering; supervise one teaching assistant for the course.

1990 – 1992

Teaching Assistant. University of Toronto. Department of Industrial Engineering. Toronto, Ontario. Responsibilities: Grade assignments; organize, prepare, supervise and grade laboratory exercises. Courses: IND309S Design Methodologies, IND205F Human Factors in Work Place Design

1987 – 1990

Director, Biomedical Engineering. Centenary Hospital. Scarborough, Ontario. Responsibilities: Develop and maintain an in-house hospital Biomedical Engineering Department (6 staff) for a 640 bed hospital; including in-service education for nursing and technical staff, quality assurance, hospital policies on medical equipment management and equipment safety. Reporting to the Vice President, Hospital Services, Ms. K. Woodcock, P.Eng.

May – Sept. 1985

University Research. Department of Engineering, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario. Responsibilities: Software development for computer aided teaching in Thermodynamics.

May – Sept. 1984

University Research. Department of Engineering, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario. Responsibilities: Research assistant in meat processing: wiener production and composition analysis.

May – Sept. 1983

University Research. Department of Chemical Engineering, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Responsibilities: Project supervisor for hydrocarbon recycling from pulp mill wastes.

1982 – 1984

Community Service. University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario. Responsibilities: Aid in teaching weekly scuba classes.

May – Sept. 1982

University Research Department of Chemical Engineering, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Responsibilities: Research assistant in energy recovery by combustion of waste wood products.

1980, 1981

University Research. Department of Chemical Engineering, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Responsibilities: Research assistant in recycling dialysate solution for dialysis machines by electrolysis. Sabbatical Experience

2002 – 2003

Visiting Fellow: Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute, Melbourne, Australia. Research focus: investigation of use of synchronous an asynchronous ICT to connect children and young people in hospital with their school of origin, assist in developing framework for performance measurement for children with disabilities in school.

External Committee Participation

2011 – present

Chair, Young Researcher Consortium, ICCHP 2012.

2010 – 2011

Co-chair, Local arrangements committee for Festival of International Conferences on Caregiving, Disability, Aging & Technology. Toronto. June 2011

2010 – present

Member, Canadian tri-council panel on research ethics.

2006 – 2008

Member, Grant Selection Committee 20 – Industrial Engineering, NSERC.

2004 – 2009

Treasurer. School Advisory Council, Alternative Primary School. Toronto.

2000 – 2002

Member of Parent Board. George Brown Child Care Centre, Toronto.


Member of Expert Advisory Panel for Federal Human Resources Development Canada, Office of Learning Technologies

1999 – 2001

Member, Programme Committee for GI2000 and GI2001. Graphics Interface 2000. Montreal.

1998 – 2001

Member, Scientific Committee for CybErg 1999. The Second International Cyberspace Conference on Ergonomics. Australia

1996 – 1997

Chair, TORCHI, Local Chapter of ACM SIGCHI, Toronto.

1995 – 1996

Member of Parent Board. George Brown Child Care Centre, Toronto.

1991 – present

Member of Technical Committee. On Laser Safety in Health Care Facilities for CSA Standard Z386.

1991 – 1993

Member of the Advisory Board. School of Engineering, University of Guelph.

1991 – 1992

President and One of the Founding Members. University of Toronto, Human Factos Student Chapter.

1990 – 1991

Member of Subcommittee. On Laser Safety in Health Care Facilities for CSA Standard Z386.

1989 – 1990

Member of Subcommittee. On Medical Electrical Equipment for CSA Standard C22.2 no 601.1-m.

1988 – 1989

Member of Subcommittee. On Electrical Safety in Patient Care Areas for CSA Z32.2-M89.

1986 – 1987

Graduate Student Representative. On the Engineering Faculty Council and Scholarship Committee, University of Toronto.

1983 – 1984

Secretary/treasurer. BioEngineering Club, University of Guelph.

Other professional activities

2006 – present

Create Human Factors and Ergonomics qualifying exam for the Professional Association of Ontario

2004 – present

Grant reviewer, Communications and Information Technology Ontario, NSERC, SSHRC


Engineer in Residence, Alternative Primary School.


Manuscript reviewer, International HCI conference.


Technical Committee, International iTV conference.


Discovery Grant reviewer, NSERC

1999 – 2000

Grant reviewer, Ontario Worker’s Compensation Board, NSERC, SSHRC.

2000 – present

Manuscript reviewer, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Medical Systems Special Interest Group, technical program committee member for GI 2000 and GI 2001, AIS E-Health, ICCHP, ACM CHI, Human-computer interaction journal.

Certification and Professional Associations

Registered Professional Engineer. Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario. Certification received May 1990. Registered Member. Human Factors Association of Canada, Human Factors Society, Association of Computing Machinery (SIGCHI).

Scholarships and Awards


Winner of Ryerson SRC Award. Ryerson University

May 2009

Winner of Ryerson’s Sarwan Sahota Reserach Award. Ryerson University.

April 2001

Winner of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award. Caldwell Partners.

October 1999

Winner of Technology in Government 1999 Distinction Award; Gold Medal in the category of Serving Canadians Better Through IM/IT Innovations – Innovative Service Delivery in the Provinces.

Feb. 1999

Nominated for Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) Award by Ontario Ministry of Education and Training.

April 1999

Finalist for Global Bangemann Challenge Award in IT in All Forms of Education Category see

Nov. 1997

Nominated for Toronto Sun’s Women of Year Award; received honourable mention.

1991 – 1993

Easter Seal Research Institute Doctoral Training Grant

1990 – 1991

University of Toronto, Open Fellowship

1985 – 1987

Ministry of Health Stipend

Volunteer Work


Volunteer, Dundee user centre - a space where older people and technology meet. University of Dundee.


Treasurer of parent council, North Preparatory/Alternative Primary School,. Toronto.


Certified ski instructor for instructing children with disabilities , Track 3 Ski Association.

1986- 1993

Barbara Schlifer Commemorative Clinic (PC support).

Winter 1985

Volunteer on a kibbutz in Israel.


Big Brothers Project Group.

 Publication List

Deborah Fels, PhD., P.Eng.

Refereed Journals (students authors indicated in bold) Total lifetime: 35, * = citation index

  • Naraine, M., Fels, D.I. (in press). The importance of “Strategic chat time” for person who are blind or low vision: A proposal for future research. British Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness.
  • Whitfield, M., Fels, D.I. (in press). Inclusive design, audio description, and diversity of theatre experiences. The Design Journal. *
  • Branje, CJ., Nespoli, G., Russo, F., Fels, D.I. (in press). The horror of vibrotactile stimulation. ACM Computers and Entertainment.
  • Russo, F.A, Ammirane, P. & Fels, D.I. (2012). Vibrotactile discrimination of musical therapy. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 38(4) 822-826.
  • Smith, D. & Fels, D.I. (2012). The disintegrated erotics of second life. The International Journal of the Image. 2(3).
  • Branje, C.J. & Fels, D. (2012). Can amateurs create quality audio description. J. Visual Impairment and Blindness. 106(3). 154-165. *
  • Fels, D.I., & Astell, A. (2011). Let me tell you a story: A model of conversation for people with dementia. American Journal of Alzheimers Disease and Other Dementias. 27(7). 535-541.*
  • Udo, J.P., Copeland, L., Fels, D.I. (2011). Producing audio described theatre: Views from a director and blind describer. International Journal of Translation Studies. 23(2). 59-79.*
  • Fels, D.I. & Gedeon, S.A. (2011). Understanding motivations of entrepreneurs in the assistive technology market. Disability and technology. 23(2). 53-64.*
  • Vy, Q., and Fels, D. (2011) Enhanced Captioning Speaker Identification: Text vs. Images. Telecommunications Journal of Australia. Awarded Telstra-TJA Christopher Newell Prize - 2nd place. 61(2). 29.1-29.13.
  • Karam, M., Branje, C. Udo, JP, Russo, F., Fels, D.I. (2010). Comparing computer vs human data collection methods for public usability evaluations of a tactile audio display. Journal of Usability Studies. 5(4). 132-146. *
  • Udo, J.P. & Fels, D.I. (2010). Blind and low-vision theatre-goers evaluate an audio described performance of Hamlet. British Journal of Visual Impairment. 28(2). 139-156.
  • Udo, J.P. & Fels, D.I. (2010). Universal design on stage: Live audio description for theatrical performances. Perspectives: Studies in Translatology. 18 (3). 189-203. *
  • Udo, JP, Fels, D.I. (2010). Refashioning fashion: an exploratory study of a live audio-described fashion show. Universal Access and the Information Society. 9(1). 63-75.*
  • Udo, JP., Fels, D.I., (2010). Enhancing the entertainment experience of blind and low-vision theatre-goers through touch tours. Disability and Society. 25(2). 231-240. *
  • Udo, JP., Fels, D.I. (2010). The rogue poster-children of universal design: Closed captioning and audio description. Journal of Engineering Design. 21(2). 207-221. *
  • Udo, J.P., Fels, D.I. (2009). The development of a new theatrical tradition: Sighted students audio describe school play for a blind and low-vision audience. International Journal of Education and the Arts. 10(20). *
  • Karam, M., Russo, F.A., & Fels, D.I. (2009). Designing the Model Human Cochlea: An Ambient Crossmodal Audio-Tactile Display. IEEE Transactions on Haptics. 2(3). 160-169.
  • Udo, JP, Fels, D.I. (2009). Suit the action to the word, the word to the action”: An unconventional approach to describing Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness. 103(3). 178-184. *
  • Rashid, R., Vy, Q., Hunt, R., Fels, D.I. (2008). Dancing with words. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction. 24(5). 505 - 519. *
  • Konstantinidis, B., Price, E., Fels, D.I. (2008). Described video information and animation: a case study of Odd Job Jack. International Journal of Social and Humanistic Computing. 1(1). 108 – 122.
  • Lee, D.G., Udo, JP., Fels, D.I. (2007). Enhanced captions. ACM Computers and Entertainment. 5(2).
  • Fels, D. I., Richards, J. Hardman, J. Lee, D.G., (2006). Sign Language Web Pages. American Annals of the Deaf. 151(4). 423-433.*
  • Fels, D.I., Udo, JP, Diamond, J.E. & Diamond J.I. (2006). A first person narrative approach to video description for animated comedy. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness. 100(5). 295-305.*
  • Fels, D.I., Udo, JP., Ting, P.,,Diamond, J. & Diamond J. (2006). Odd Job Jack Described – A first person narrative approach to described video. Journal of Universal Access in the Information Society. 5(1). 73-81.*
  • Roberts, V.& Fels, D.I. (2006). Methods for inclusion: Employing think aloud protocols in software usability studies with individuals who are deaf. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. 64(6). 489-501.*
  • Fels, D.I., Konstantinidis, B., Hardman, J., Carey, C., Porch, W. (2004). Providing inclusive video-mediated communication. Annual Review of Communications, v57. pp. 593-601.
  • Fels, D.I. (2003). PEBBLES. Impact of Teleconferencing on Learning: Two case studies. Key ICSEI 2003 Papers.
  • Fels, D., & Weiss, T. (2001). Video-mediated communication in the classroom to support sick children: A case study. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics. 28. 251-263. *
  • Weiss T., Whiteley C., Treviranus, J., and Fels, D.I. (2001). PEBBLES: A Personal Technology for Meeting Educational, Social and Emotional Needs of Hospitalized. Children. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing. 5. 157-168.*
  • Fels, D., & Weiss, T. (2000). Toward determining an attention getting device for improving interaction during video-mediated communication. Computers in Human Behaviour. 16(2). 99-122.*
  • Fels, D.I., Williams, L., Smith, G., Treviranus, J., & Eagleson, R. (1999). Developing a video-mediated communication system for hospitalized children. Telemedicine Journal. 5(2). 193-207.
  • Williams, L. Fels, D.I., Smith, G., Treviranus, J., & Eagleson, R. (1998). Control of a remote communication system by children. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics. 22. pp. 275-283.*
  • Fels, D.I., Chignell, M.H., Shein, G.F., & Milner, M. (1996). Steps toward output device-independent feedback. Ergonomics, 39(8), pp. 1054-1068.*
  • Fels, D., Chignell, M., Milner, M., Shein, F., & Treviranus, J. (1991). A taxonomy of device-independent information to provide multi-modal computer feedback. Rehabilitation R&D

Progress Reports, 29, pp. 176.

Refereed Conference Proceedings (students indicated in bold) Total last six years: 35

  1. Pouris, M. & Fels, D. I. (2012). Creating an entertaining and informative music visualization. ICCHP 2012. Linz. 451-458.
  2. Baijal, A., Kim. J., Branje, C., Russo, F.A., Fels, D.I. (2012). Composing vibrotactile music: A multi-sensory experience with the Emoti-Chair. IEEE Haptics. Vancouver. 509-515.
  3. Bajko, R., & Fels, D.I. (2011). Mobile telephone Usage and Perception During Group Meetings. CONISAR. 4(1837), Winner, Meritorious PhD paper award.
  4. Hibbard, E., Fels, D.I. (2011). The vlogging phenomena: A Deaf perspective. ASSETS 2011. Dundee. Pp. 59-66.
  5. Webster, G. Fels, D.I., Gowans, G., Hanson,V.L. (2011). Portraits of individuals with dementia: videos of care managers. British HCI. Bath. 331-340
  6. Naraine, M., & Fels, D.I. (2011). When audio description came to town. A longitudinal study. FICCDAT. Toronto. Retrieve from
  7. Fels, D.I. & Astell, A. (2011). Let me tell you a story: A model of conversation for people with dementia. CHI workshop: CHI Bridging practices, theories and technologies to support reminiscence. Vancouver.
  8. Fels, D., Gerdzhev, M., Ho, J., Hibbard, E. (2010) .Usability and use of SLS:Caption. ASSETS2010. Orlando. Pp. 291-292.
  9. Vy, Q. V., & Fels, D.I. (2010). Enhanced captioning: Using avatars for speaker identification. ICCHP 2010. Vienna. Pp. 247-254
  10. Webster, G., Alm, N., Fels, D.I., & Gowans, G. (2010). Portrait: Portraying individuality. ICCHP 2010. Vienna. Pp. 576-583.
  11. Karam, M., Branje, C., Nespoli, G. Thompson, N., Russo, F.A., Fels, D.I. (2010) The Emoti-Chair – An interactive tactile exhibit. CHI2010. Atlanta. Pp. 3069-3074.
  12. Karam, M., Branje, C., Russo, F., Fels, D.I. (2010). Vibrotactile display of music on the human back. ACHI2010. Barcelona. Pp. 154-159.
  13. Mori, J. Fels, D.I. (2009). See the music: Can animated lyrics provide access to the emotions in music for people who are deaf or hard of hearing? IEEE Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics. Toronto. Pp. 951-956.
  14. Fourney, D., Fels, D.I. (2009). Creating access to music through visualization. IEEE Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics. Toronto. Pp. 939-944.
  15. Branje, C., Maksimowski, M., Nespoli, G., Karam, M., Fels, D. I. & Russo, F. (2009). Development and validation of a sensory-substitution technology for music. 2009 Conference of the Canadian Acoustical Association. Oct 14-16. Niagara on the Lake.
  16. Russo, F.A., Maksimowski, M., Karam, M. and D. I. Fels. D.I. 2009. Vibrotactile discrimination of musical timbre. Paper presentation at the Society for Music Perception and Cognition. Indianapolis.
  17. Branje, C.J., Karam, M., Russo, F., Fels, D.I. (2009). Enhancing entertainment through a multimodal chair interface. IEEE Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics. Toronto. Pp. 636-641.
  18. Chignell, M.H., Hosono, N., Fels, D., Lottridge, D.M., and Waterworth, J.A. (2009). Mobility, Emotion, and Universality in Future Collaboration. In Gross, T., Gulliksen, J., Kotze, P., Oestreicher, L., Palanque, P.A., Oliveira Prates, R., and Winckler, M. (Eds.): Human-Computer Interaction - INTERACT 2009, 12th IFIP TC 13 International Conference, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 5727, pp. 924-925.
  19. Vy, Q., Fels, D.I. (2009). Who's Saying What? Using Avatars for Speaker Identification. Interact 2009. Uppsala. pp. 916 – 919.
  20. Fels, D.I., Gerdzhev, M., Hibbard, E., Goodrum, A., Richards, J. (2009). Sign language online with Signlink Studio 2.0. HCI International. San Diego.
  21. Karam, M.; Nespoli, G.; Russo, F., Fels, D. (2009). Modelling Perceptual Elements of Music in a Vibrotactile Display for Deaf Users: A Field Study. Second International Conferences on Advances in Computer-Human Interactions (ACHI 2009). Cancun, Mexico.
  22. Fourney, D., Fels, D.I. (2008). Thanks for pointing that out: Making sarcasm accessible for all. HFES 2008. New York.
  23. Vy, Q. V., Mori, J., Fourney, D., Fels, D.I. (2008). EnACT: A software tool for creating animated text captions. ICCHP 2008. Linz. pp. 609-616.
  24. Richards, J., Hibbard, E., Hardman, J., Woodcock, K., Fels, D.I. (2008). SignLink Studio 2.0. Technology and Deaf Education. Rochester.
  25. Karam, M., Branje, C., Price, E., Russo, F., Fels, D.I. (2008). Towards A Model Human Cochlea: Sensory substitution for crossmodal audio-tactile displays. Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2008. Windsor. pp 267-274.
  26. Karam, M, Fels, D.I. (2008). Designing a Model Human Cochlea: Issues and challenges in crossmodal audio to touch displays. Haptics in ambient systems. Quebec City.
  27. Goodrum, A., Hibbard, E., Woodcock, K., Richards, R., Fels, D.I. (2008). The creation of keysigns: American Sign Language metadata. International Society for Knowledge Organization. Montreal.
  28. Prescod, F. & Fels, D. (2007). Laptop use: a matter of learning styles and students’ satisfaction at ITM. E-Learn 2007: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Health and Higher Education. Montreal. pp. 2144-2151.
  29. Rashid, R., Vy, Q., Hunt, R., Fels, D.I. (2007). Dancing with words. Creativity and Cognition 2007. Washington DC. pp. 269-270.
  30. Thompson, N., & Fels, D.I. (2007). Sign language links in web content. 30th Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Conference. Toronto.
  31. Prescod, F., Fels, D.I. (2006). Assessment of student attitudes towards a university laptop learning environment. Interaction Association for the Development of the Information Society. Barcelona.
  32. Rashid, R. Aitken J. & Fels, D.I. (2006). Expressing Emotions Using Animated Text Captions. ICCHP 2006. Linz. In: Miesenberger, Klaus et al (eds): Computers helping people with special needs : 10th International Conference. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer. 24-31.
  33. Branje, C. Marshall, S., Tyndall, A., Fels, D.I., (2006). LiveDescribe. AMCIS 2006. Acapulco.
  34. Chandrashekar, S., Fels, D., Stockman, T., Benedyk R. (2006). User testing – your place or mine? Or shall we do it on the Web. ASSETS 2006 poster session. Portland, Oregon.
  35. Konstantinidis, B. & Fels, D.I. (2006). HWAET: Hand-waving apparatus for effective turn-taking. CWUATT’06. Cambridge. pp. 77-82.
  36. Fels, D., Lee, D., Branje, C., Reid, M., Shallow, E., Hornburg, M. (2005). Captioning with an emotive twist. American Conference in Information Systems, Omaha. pp. 2330-2337.
  37. Richards, J., Fels, D., Hardman J., (2005). The educational potential of the signing Web. National Institute of the Deaf Instructional Technology and Education of the Deaf Symposium. Rochester.
  38. Yeung, J., Konstantindis, B., Fels, D.I. (2005). Remote work system for high school students. CybERG 2005 – an online conference.
  39. Yeung, J., Konstantinidis, B., Fels, D.I. (2005). PEBBLES: Two-way work and communication for remote high school students. EdMedia 2005. Montreal. pp. 891-898.
  40. Yeung, J. Fels, D.I. (2005). A remote telepresence system for high school classrooms. Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering. pp. 1447-1450.
  41. Prescod, F., & Fels, D.I. (2004). Challenging conventions: Implications of laptop teaching/learning environments on student performance. Accepted to EISTA04. Orlando.
  42. Hudyma, R., & Fels, D.I. (2004). Causes of failure in IT telecommunications networks. Proceedings of SCI 2004. Florida. pp.35-38.
  43. Lee, D. Richards, J., Hardman, J., Fels, D.I. (2004). Creating sign language web pages. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference ICCHP 2004, Lecture Notes in Computer Science , Vol. 3118 Klaus, J.; Miesenberger, K.; Burger, D.; Zagler, W. (Eds.) Paris. pp. 1088-1095
  44. Fels, D.I. (2004). Accessible digital media and sign language. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference ICCHP 2004, Lecture Notes in Computer Science , Vol. 3118 Klaus, J.; Miesenberger, K.; Burger, D.; Zagler, W. (Eds.) Paris. pp. 1069-1070
  45. Fels, D.I., Richards, J., Hardman, J., Soudian, S., Silverman, C. (2004). American sign language of the web. CHI2004 Late Breaking Papers. Vienna. pp. 1111-1114.
  46. Rice, M. & Fels, D. (2004). Low vision and the visual interface for interactive television. Second International Conference on iTV. Brighton, UK.
  47. Richards, J., Hardman, J., Soudian, S., Silverman, C., Fels, D.I. (2004). The Signing Web. CSUN 2004. California.
  48. Fels, D.I., Samers, P., Robertson, M. (2003). Use of the asynchronous BlackBerry technology in a large children’s hospital to connect sick kids to school. International Conference on Computers in Education. Hong Kong.
  49. Fels, D.I., Shrimpton, B., Robertson, M. (2003). Kids in hospital, kids in school. World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, Hawaii. Pp. 2358-2363.
  50. Fels, D.I. (2003). PEBBLES: Case Studies in long distance learning and telepresence. International Congress for School Effectiveness & Improvement. Sydney. pp. 70 (Abstract #202).
  51. Soudian, S., Fels, D.I. (2002). Verbal source code descriptor. Proceedings of IEEE WESS’ 2002.
  52. Roberts V. & Fels, D. (2002). Methods for inclusion: employing think aloud protocol with individuals who are deaf. In Miesenberger, K., Claus, J. & Zagler, W. (Eds.), Computers Helping People With Special Needs: 8th Annual Conference Proceedings/ICCHP 2002: Springer, New York. pp.284-291.
  53. Silverman, C. & Fels, D.I. (2002). Emotive captioning in a digital world. In Miesenberger, K., Claus, J. & Zagler, W. (Eds.), Computers Helping People With Special Needs: 8th Annual Conference Proceedings/ICCHP 2002: Springer, New York.
  54. Fels, D.I., & Silverman, C. (2002). Issues of closed captioning and interactive television . In Miesenberger, K., Claus, J. & Zagler, W. (Eds.), Computers Helping People With Special Needs: 8th Annual Conference Proceedings/ICCHP 2002: Springer, New York.
  55. Fels, D.I., Degan, S.S., Lee, D., Guergachi, A. (2002). Modeling Fear, Anger, Sadness, and Happiness for Alternative Displays. 6th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics 2002. Orlando.
  56. Fels, D.I., & Degan, S.S. (2001). Expressing non-speech information and emotion to the deaf and hard of hearing. CD-ROM Proceedings IEEE Systems, Man & Cybernetics. Tuscon.
  57. Fels, D.I., Polano, L, Harvey, T., Degan, S.S., & Silverman, C.H. (2001). Towards Emotive Captioning for Interactive Television. Universal Access and Human-computer interaction. New Orleans.
  58. Fels, D. I., Waalen, J.K., Zhai, S., Weiss, P.L. (2001). Telepresence under exceptional circumstances: enriching the connection to school for sick children. Interact 2001. Japan. pp. 617-624.
  59. Silverman, C. & Fels, D., I. (2001). Beyond Captioning: The New Frontier. CSUN. California.
  60. Fels, D., (2000). Towards Accessible Synchronous Communication. IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics. Nashville. pp. 593-598.
  61. Cheetham, A., Young, C., & Fels, D. (2000) Interface development for a child's video conferencing robot. IEA2000/HFES 2000 Congress. San Diego. vol. 1 pp. 380-383.
  62. Fels, D.I., Weiss, P.L., & Talampas, M.A. (2000). A case study of videoconferencing in the classroom: A methodology for measuring interactions, behaviors and attitudes. IEA 2000/HFES 2000 Congress. San Diego vol. 1 pp. 372-375.
  63. Fels, D.I., Weiss, P., Treviranus, J., & Smith. G. (1999). Videoconferencing in the classroom: Children's attitudes. The Second International Cyberspace Conference on Ergonomics – CD-ROM proceedings. or Curtin University of Technology.
  64. Weiss, T., Fels, D., & Treviranus, J. (1999). Telework and video-mediated communication: Importance of real-time, interactive communication for workers with disabilities. CSUN’99, California.
  65. Fels, D.I., Williams, L., Smith, G., Treviranus, J., & Eagleson, R. (1998). Analysis of a video-mediated communication system for children. The Third International Conference on the Learning Sciences (ICLS-98). Atlanta.pp 307-309.
  66. Williams, L., Fels, D.I., Smith, G., Treviranus, J., & Eagleson, R. (1998). Developing a video-mediated communication system for hospitalised children. VSMM ’98. Japan.
  67. Fels, D.I., Williams, L.A., Smith, G., Treviranus, J. & Eagleson, R. (1998). Creating an Interactive Supply Student. Symposium on Industrial Engineering and Management, Toronto. pp 86-90.
  68. Williams, L., Fels, D.I., Smith, G., Treviranus, J., & Eagleson, R. (1997). Using PEBBLES to Facilitate Remote Communication and Learning. 41st meetings on Human Factors and Ergonomics. Albuquerque, pp. 320-324.
  69. Williams, L., Fels, D.I., Smith, G., Treviranus, J., & Eagleson, R. (1997). PEBBLES: Providing Education by Bringing Learning Environments to Students. Design of Computing Systems: Social and Ergonomic Considerations. Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Human Computer Interaction. San Francisco, pp. 115-118.
  70. Eagleson, R., Williams, L., Fels, D., Burkell, J., & Pylyshyn, Z. (1996). Teleoperation of a Remote Camera to Support Spatial Reasoning Abilities. The First Annual Conference of the Networks of Centres of Excellence on Tele-Learning. Montreal.
  71. Williams, L. Fels, D.I., Smith, G., Treviranus, J., & Eagleson, R. (1996). Control of a remote communication system by children. In: L.Straker and C. Pollock (Eds.) Virtual Proceedings of CybErg 1996: The First International Cyberspace Conference on Ergonomics. URL Curtin University of Technology.
  72. Fels, D.I., Williams, L., Smith, G., & Treviranus, J. (1996). The Supply Student. Medicine 2001, June 1996. Montreal.
  73. Fels, D.I., Chignell, M.H., Shein, G.F., & Milner, M. (1994). Modality-Independent Feedback for Access to Computers. 12th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association. Toronto. pp. 384-386.
  74. Fels, D.I. & Shein, G.F. (1994). To evaluate or not to evaluate: That is the question. presented at RESNA - 17th Annual Conference on Rehabilitation. Nashville. pp.426-428.
  75. Fels, D.I., Shein, G.F., Chignell, M.H., & Milner, M. (1993). Interface analysis using a standardised feedback language. RESNA - 16th Annual Conference on Rehabilitation. Las Vegas. pp. 429-431.
  76. Fels, D.I., Shein, G.F., Chignell, M.H., & Milner, M. (1992). Feedback control: Whose job is it anyway? 25th Annual Conference of Human Factors Association of Canada. Hamilton. pp. 81-84.
  77. Fels, D., Shein, F., Chignell, M.H., & Milner, M. (1992). A taxonomy of device-independent information to provide multi-modal computer feedback. Annual Conference of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Philadelphia.
  78. Fels, D.I., Shein, G.F., Chignell, M.H., & Milner, M. (1992). See, hear & touch the GUI: computer feedback through multiple modalities. RESNA – 15th Annual Conference on Rehabilitation. Toronto. pp. 37-40.
  79. Fels, D. (1991). Comparison of a hospital suction system with a dedicated smoke evacuation system for use with electrosurgical units during surgery. Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society Conference, Banff, Alberta.
  80. Fels, D., McDougall, J., Sanani, D., Shein, F., Kynsh, B., & Milner, M. (1991). Preliminary developments in device-independent access to computer-based systems for people with disabilities. Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society Conference, Banff, Alberta
  81. Fels, D., Fels, S., & Fels, M. (1989). A report on tall oil and a comparison with diesel fuel. In 9th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference, Hamilton, Ont.
  82. McDougall, J., Fels, D., Shein, F., & Milner, M. (1988). Output primitives to allow disabled people full functional use of computers. Poster In Computer Human Interaction, CHI '88, Washington D.C.
  83. Fels, D. (1987). Device-independent access to computer-based system for the disabled. MHSc thesis. University of Toronto.
  84. Mittal, G., Fels, D., & Correia, L. R. (1986). Microcomputer-aided teaching of thermodynamics. In 5th Canadian Conference on Engineering Education, London, Ont.

Book Chapters

  1. Udo, J.P. & Fels, D.I. (in press). Exemption or not? Copyright and perceptual disability for accessible media. In Coombs, R. & Wershler, D. (eds.) Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture Online.
  2. Udo, J.P. & Fels, D.I. (2011). From the describer's mouth: reflections on creating unconventional audio description for live theatre. In Serban, A. & Lavaur, J.M (eds.) Audio Visual Audiovisual translation in closeup. Peter Lang Publishing Group, New York.
  3. Fels, D.I., Prescod, F., and Norrie, J., (2006). A successful vendor relationship for a large-scale laptop programme at Ryerson University. in Beverly Pasian and Gary Woodill (ed.). Planning to Learn: case studies in e-learning project management.

Technical Reports


“Usability Analysis: artsPOST Interface” submitted to marblemedia Inc.


“Usability Analysis: ITMS Client Interface” submitted to RDM Corp.


“Program for Students with Disabilities: Achieving Effective Outcomes Project Tender Number: 02/03-25. submitted to Victorian Department of Education by Cook, R., Fels, D. & Robertson, M.


“Report on Potential Access to the Financial Services Manager Position for Individuals Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing” submitted to The Bank of Montreal.


“Preliminary Report on the Translation and Evaluation of French WiViK.” submitted as a final deliverable to Industry Canada in completion of grant awarded for French WiViK.


Development of Accessible Software for Telecommunications Technology. Final Technical Report: Task Analysis.


A Preliminary Study of the Wood Waste and Heat Recovery System of Kakabeka Timber Ltd.

Patents & Trademark


US and Canadian Patent: Model Human Cochlea (application)


Industrial Design Patent (pending): PEBBLES Hospital Unit. Industry Canada.


Provisional PCT Patent: Teleconferencing Robot with Swiveling Video Monitor and Automatic Location of Speaking Conferee. Tripartite application from Ryerson P. University, University of Toronto, and Telbotics Inc.


Trademark for PEBBLES

Invited Seminars, Courses, Exhibits and Presentations

June 2012

An Evening of Sensory Fusion. Installation of Emoti-Chair at Petit Nuit Blanche. Museum London, London, Ont.

Oct. 2011

Invited demonstration and presentation: Inclusive Design and Media Access. Turner Broadcasting Inc.

Oct. 2011

Invited seminar: Inclusive Design. University of Surrey, Faculty of Management.

Oct. 2011

Vlogging at the DCC. Nuit Blanche exhibit at the Deaf Culture Centre. Toronto, Ont.

Oct 2010

Vibes! Feel It!. Nuit Blanche exhibit at the Deaf Culture Centre., Toronto, Ont.

June 2010

Emoti-chair workshop. Vancouver Song Institute, Vancouver, BC.

April 2010

Inclusive entertainment. Research Seminar. St. Andrews University. St. Andrews, Scotland.

March 2010

Inclusive gaming. Keynote address. Open house. University of Dundee. Dundee, Scotland.

March 2010

ORGANic Evolution III. St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church. Toronto. Emoti-chairs were involved in this concert.

December 2009

Inclusive gaming. Public lecture. University of Dundee. Dundee, Scotland.

November 2009

CLT research overview. Research seminar. Edinburgh-Napier University. Edinburgh. Scotland.

September 2009

Inclusive entertainment. Research seminar. University of Dundee. Scotland.

October 2009

Array Music concert. Music Gallery. Toronto.

March 2009

Feel the Music: An accessible concert for deaf or hard of hearing audiences. Live music concert. Clinton’s Tavern. Toronto

Dec 08 – Dec09

Enhanced captioning. Deaf Film Making Exhibit. Deaf Cultural Centre. Toronto.

Nov. 2008

Alternative approaches for Closed Captioning & Audio Description. Invited Presentation at Accessibility Hearings at CRTC.

Oct. 2008

Feel the Music: Concert at Ontario Science Centre. Three live bands and Emoti-chair.

Sept 08 – Jan09

Emoti-chair: Exhibit at Ontario Science Centre. Weston Family Ideas Centre.

Feb. 2008

Expert critic. Inclusive design competition. Ontario College of Art and Design. Toronto.

Jan. 2008

Video description. Invited presentation. Canadian Digital Broadcasting Summit. Toronto.

Jan . 2008

Inclusive engineering. Invited presentation. Industrial Engineering Student Conference. Ryerson University

Nov. 2007

Engineering for inclusion. PEO Student Conference. University of Toronto.

Dec. 2006

Accessible Media. Presented at CulturAll Summit. University of Toronto.

Oct. 2006

Engineering for inclusion. Keynote Address - Third Annual PEO Women in Engineering Advisory Committee (WEAC) Claudette Mackay-Lassonde Memorial Forum Toronto.

Sept. 2006

Engineering: A caring profession. Keynote Address for Go ENG Girl. Toronto.

Sept. 2006

Accessible Media. Invited speaker for Innoversity 2006. Toronto.

Nov. 2004

Broadband Opportunities for Deaf Youth – Celebrating deaf culture on the Internet. Invited presentation and conference display. Showing Results – Sharing Knowledge CANARIE conference. Toronto.

Sept. 2004

Broadband Opportunities for Deaf Youth – Celebrating deaf culture on the Internet. Invited presentation and conference display. Showing Results – Sharing Knowledge CANARIE conference. Halifax.

May 2004

Fels Makes Big Splash with PEBBLES and Differently-Abled Clients. In Smalley, C (2004). Conferzine.

March 2004

Described Video. Seminar presented to SMPTE. Toronto. Canada.

September 2003

Enhanced Captioning. Seminar presented at the University of Brighton, UK.

September 2003

Accessible iTV. Workshop presented at British HCI. Bath, UK.

April 2003

From Bed to School in Realtime. Workshop presented at BSW Student Wellbeing/Drug Education Conference, Geelong, Australia.

March 2003

Connecting Me, Connecting You: There is something we can do. Keynote address. RCH Expo. Melbourne Australia.

March 2003

From Bed to School in Realtime. Workshop presented at RCH Expo. Melbourne, Australia.

Jan. 2003

Kids in Hospital, Kids at School. Invited Speaker. International Federation for Information Processing Working Groups 3.1 and 3.3 Working Conference. Melbourne. Australia

Jan. 2003

The CYCLE Model. Invited speaker. Best papers of conference seminar. International Congress for School Effectiveness & Improvement. Sydney.

Sept 2002

PEBBLES: Invited speaker. Department of Education, University of Melbourne. Australia.

Sept. 2002

PEBBLES: Grand Rounds. Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

June 2001

Cito TechTalk: Digital Television: What does this mean for access. University of Toronto.

May 2001

Accessible Interactive Television, invited speaker, Ontario Chapter of SMPTE. Ryerson University.

May 2001

Moderator, Panel on Women in Engineering Workshop. Ryerson University.

January 2001

Synchronous communication for people with disabilities: invited speaker in Electrical and Computer Engineering. University of British Columbia.

Nov. 2000

Towards accessible synchronous communication tools. Invited speaker at SETT conference. Bloorview MacMillan Centre.

Sept 2000

Towards accessible synchronous communication tools. Invited speaker Showcase Ontario.

May 2000

Accessible Synchronous Communication. invited speaker at McGill Centre for Intelligent Machines. McGill University.

May 2000

Moderator, Panel on Women in Engineering Workshop. Ryerson University.

May 2000

Towards Accessible Synchronous Communication. invited speaker at Digital Media Institute speaking series, University of Toronto.

May 2000

Accessible Interactive Television. panelist at GREET 2000 conference. Ryerson Polytechnic University.

March 2000

PEBBLES: Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Trade Mission Member Tokyo, Japan.

March 2000

PEBBLES, public relations event and media appearance with Wayne Gretzy and PEBBLES.

Feb. 2000

Telepresence as a model of communication. Government Video Magazine. pp. 86.

November 1999

PEBBLES: An example of telepresence Keynote speaker. 31st Annual Conference of the Association of Canadian Ergonomists, Hull, Quebec.

April 1999

PEBBLES, invited demonstrator, Showcase Ontario, Toronto

Nov. 1998

PEBBLES, invited demonstrator, Special Education Technology conference, Toronto.

Oct. 1998

PEBBLES, invited demonstrator, Government and Technology conference, Ottawa.

Oct. 1998

PEBBLES, invited speaker. Knowledge Media Design Institute, University of Toronto.

Sept. 1998

PEBBLES, Launch and media appearance for Wayne Gretzy’s PEBBLES

May 1998

An attention-getting device for use with video conferencing systems. presenter, GREET/SRC ’98. Ryerson Polytechnic University. Toronto.

April 1998

PEBBLES: Providing Education By Bringing Learning Environments to Students. invited speaker, panelist and demonstrator. SETCO conference. Milton.

Oct. 1997

PEBBLES: Providing Education By Bringing Learning Environments to Students. invited speaker and demonstrator. Making Connections Conference, Kitchener-Waterloo.

May 1997

Centre for Learning Technologies. poster presentation. SRC Day 1997. Ryerson Polytechnic University. Toronto.

Dec. 1996

PEBBLES: Providing Education By Bringing Learning Environments to Students. invited speaker. TorCHI, Toronto.

May 1996

Multi-media courseware development: team presenter, GREET ‘96 workshop, Ryerson Polytechnic University. Toronto.

Mar. 1996

Multi-media and People with Disabilities: invited speaker: research committee, Bloorview MacMillan Centre. Toronto.

Nov. 1995

Multi-media Meets the Desktop: Accessibility for Individuals with Disabilities: invited paper and presentation at NSF/Multimedia ‘95 Workshop on Adaptive Multimedia Technologies for People with Disabilities. San Francisco.

May 1993

Modality-Independent Feedback for Access to Computers for People with Disabilities: presented at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Research Symposium, University of Toronto.

March 1993

Communication: Models and Alternatives: presented to seminar group, Department of Computing and Information Science, University of Guelph.


Effective Presentations: provided to thesis classes of Industrial Engineering.

Oct. 1992

De-Mystifying Technology: presented to Association of Physiotherapists, Toronto.

July 1990

Laser Safety: keynote speaker at meeting of the Board of Directors, Centenary Hospital.

March 1990

Laser Safety: one half day course at Toronto Institute for Medical Technology, provided to Occupational Health and Safety practioners.


Media Interviews (examples) Radio Interviews

  • “Feel the Music” CBC Radio, Music and Technology by Nora Young. Aired March 25 & 28, 2009.
  • “Canadian Researchers Launch Chair That Helps Deaf People Understand Concept of Music” 680 News, by Rudy Blair. Aired February 5, 2009.
  • “Russian Radio Podcast Live at Emoti-Chair Concert with Frank Russo, Ellen Hibbard, David Fourney, Deborah Fels and Eric Buehner Podctahция. Aired March 5, 2009. <>
  • “Russion Radio Podcast for Emoti-Chair Concert with Frank Russo” Podctahция. Aired March 5, 2009.
  • “Tech Talk” (city-fm) as reported by Katfish Morgan, David Schellenberg, Lauren Stone. Aired March 5, 2009.
  • “Toronto at Noon” (CFRB-AM) as reported by Dave Trafford. Aired March 5, 2009.
  • Radio Canada Interview with Stéphane Vera and Yanik Dumont. Aired February 26, 2009.
  • “Promoter Launches Rock Gigs for the Deaf” BBC Radio 4, You and Yours. Aired February 26, 2009. <>
  • “Here & Now” (HR1& HR3)(CBL-FM) as reported by Matt Galloway and Jennifer McGuire. Aired February 25, 2009.
  • “The Emoti-chair” CBC Hear and Now Interview by Matt Gallaway, Feb. 8, 2009.
  • “Hamlet Described” CBC Metro Morning Interview by Paul Leichman and Andy Barry, Nov. 15, 2006.


  • “Vibration Chair Helps Sense and Feel Music” Gizmo Watch. Aired March 12, 2009.
  • “Daily Planet” as reported by Natasha Stillwell. Aired March 9, 2009.
  • CBC News: Morning (CBC-NW) as reported by Heather Hiscox. Aired March 9, 2009.
  • “Can This Chair Really Allow Deaf People to Feel What It’s Like at a Concert?” CBC News and Current Affairs as reported by Deana Sumanac. Aired March 8, 2009.
  • “Sign Language on the Web” Success Stories, CTV News, March 23, 2005
  • “PEBBLES” CallforHelp Tech TV, February 22, 2005
  • “PEBBLES” Today Show, May 13, 2004
  • “PEBBLES” Discovery US, May 14, 2004
  • “PEBBLES”, Technology Tomorrow – BBC, Feb. 2001.
  • “PEBBLES”, Alpha2Omega – YTV, Feb. 2000
  • “PEBBLES”, HyperTec - Discovery Channel, March 9, 1998.
  • “PEBBLES”, Media TV - CityTV, July 12, 1997.
  • “PEBBLES” 6:00 News, Global Television, June 26, 1997.
  • “PEBBLES” 6:00 News, Global Television, August 1996.

Magazine Articles

  • “Profile of Deborah Fels”, Engineering Dimensions, Sept/Oct. 1998 pp. 35.
  • “Bioengineering: Improving Lives, Creating Opportunities”, Engineering Dimensions, March/April 1997 pp 21-24.

Newspaper (on-line)

  • “Time to modernize closed captioning and audio description” by Brian Edeba Media Tech Reports, August 21, 2008.
  • “Emoti-chair delivers good vibrations to deaf” by Debra Black. The Toronto Star, Tuesday July 2, 2008, Section A1, page 1.
  • "Horatio plays Don Cherry" by Richard Ouzounian, The Toronto Star Friday November 24, 2006 Section D15
  • "The Play's the thing? No, the play-by-play" by Jeff Overmars Globe & Mail. Nov 18, 2006. Section M5
  • "New `colour commentary' has fashion debut" by Helen Henderson, The Toronto Star, Feb 25, 2006
  • Hospitalized students use robots in classroom. CNN May 30, 2006.
  • The partnership with The Bay has generated 39 newspaper articles, 41 television and six radio stories to date.
  • “Learning by Remote”. The Globe and Mail. April 9, 2005. page F6.
  • PEBBLES un robot pour enfant malade en classe!. Retrieved May 2004 from
  • “Reading, writing, robotics”, National Post, June 11, 1999.
  • “Homeroom in a hospital”, Toronto Star, Feb. 27, 1998.
  • “She makes it all computer”, Toronto Sun, Nov. 14, 1997.
  • “Video-conferencing is bringing the classroom into the home”, The Globe and Mail, August 26, 1997.
  • “Pebbles keeps sick kids in touch with school”, Toronto Computes, Oct. 1996
  • “Une Percee Qui Pourrait Aider Les Handicapes L’universite en direct, de chez soi”, Lexpress, Aug. 26, 1996
  • “Seeing-eye computer puts ill kids back in class”, Toronto Star, June 24, 1996.



Created Web-based course module title “Transitioning to the new media” for the Instruction Design for the New Media web course”.


Created Multi-media CD-ROM titled “Local Area Network Hardware”.


  1. Ammirante, P, Russo, F.A., Good, A., Fels, D.I. Feeling voices. PLOS-ONE.
  2. Branje, C., Fels, D.I. The Vibrochord: Validating a theoretical framework for the evaluation of musical input devices. Computer Music.
  3. Chaitanya, S. Fels, D.I. Vibro-Motion: An Interactive Vibro-Tactile Gesture Interface. CHI2013.
  4. Hibbard, E., Fels, D.I. Usability of vlogging: sharing ASL content online. Annals of the Deaf.
  5. Webster, G., Fels, D., Portraits of people with dementia. American Journal of Alzheimers Disease and Other Dementias.

Research Funding


Date Organisation & Project Applicant Amount for Fels/Ryerson
2012-2013 NSERC Engage: Scooter games D. Fels, Komodo Open Systems Inc. $ 24,000
2012-2013 OPIC – Accessible mobile interface for gaming D. Fels, Komodo OpenSystems Inc. $ 25,000
2012-2013 Google – LiveDescribe lite D. Fels $ 33,000
2012-2015 SSHRC Partnership Development – Intimate interfaces D. Fels, M. Gurevich, B. Crow $ 60,000 per annum
2011-2014 NIH Small Business Initiative. Eastern Kentucky University. Terptube D. Roush & D. Fels $ 60,000 per annum
2011-2012 Ontario Gov – OPIC programme. Intimate interfaces D. Fels, D. Smith, S. Landau (Touch Graphics Inc.) $ 10,000
2011 FedDev. Accessibility of Knowledge Generator D. Fels & Mt. Knowledge $ 50,000
2010-2013 National Institute of Health; Crowd-sourced audio description Joshua Miele (Kettlewell Smith Eye Institute) $ 29,000 per annum
2010-2013 NSERC - Accelerator grant D. Fels $ 40,000 per annum
2010-2015 NSERC – Discovery grant D. Fels $ 32,000 per annum
2010-2015 National Centre of Excellence – GRAND (there are many industry partners for this but we are aligned with TAD Inc.) K. Booth, A. Goodrum $ 40,000 per annum for Fels, Fels is also Ryerson block captain
2010-2011 SSHRC – ITST programme - Developing a framework for vibrotactile composition and performance D. Fels, F. Russo $ 40,000
2009-2014 Canada Foundation for Innovation – Inclusive Design Institute J. Treviranus $ 30,000,000 (Ryerson portion $360,000)
2009-2010 Canada Foundation for Innovation - Experiential Design and Gaming Environment Dimitri Androutsos $ 1,106,154
2009-2014 ORF-RE - Project ÆGIS – Integrating Accessibility into Emerging ICT J. Treviranus, D. Fels, + 10 other partners $ Ryerson portion = $90,000
2009-2012 Bell Globe Media B. Milligan & D. Fels $ 360,000
2008 Ryerson University: Summer research assistant D. Fels $ 9,000
2007-2009 Canadian Heritage – CCOP CulturAll2 J. Treviranus, D. Fels & others $500,000 over 2 years, Ryerson portion is $95K
2007 - 2011 SSHRC – Accessible Entertainment D. Fels, A. Goodrum, A. Gould, C. Davis, F. Russo, I. Pederson, J. Treviranus, L. Dong, M. Plaza, P. Hearty, R.B. Elder, & S. Cody. $ 1M over 5 years
2007 Ryerson University: Summer research assistant D. Fels $ 7,500
2007 NSERC RTI D. Fels, K. Woodcock, O. Tursgen $ 55,624
2006-2008 Canadian Heritage – SignLink Studio D. Fels, J. Treviranus, & CHS $ 500,000
2006-2009 NSERC/Canada Council for the Arts D. Fels, A. Guergachi & G. Smith $ 380,000
2006 Ryerson University: Summer research assistant D. Fels $ 7,500
2006 Ryerson University – One time only D. Fels $ 8,500
2006 Ryerson University – Business research fund D. Fels $ 10,000
2006 Ryerson University S. Gedeon + D. Fels $ 5,000
2006-2007 SSHRC Image, Text, Sound & Technology: Developing an Ethos of Fair Dealing for Research on Canadian Culture Online York University (Rosemary Coombs), Ryerson University and others $ 46,317
2006-2009 SSHRC: Students in Technology-Focused vs. Humanities Programs: Learning Styles, Maturity Levels and Academic Success Zywno, Gosha, Stewart Frankie & Fels, D. $ 42,000
2005-2007 Canadian Heritage: CulturAll U of T, Ryerson, CLT $ 1,500,000 (Ryerson allocation ($150,000)
2005-2006 Telefilm Canada: Extended video description Smiley Guy Studies, Ryerson $ 163,000
2005-2010 NSERC:Discovery Grant D. Fels $ 41,000 per year
2005-2007 SSHRC New Media: Accessible Gaming J. Parker (Calgary), D. Fels (Ryerson), Concordia, U. Vic + private partners. $42,000
2004 Canadian Heritage – Gateway Fund. ASLpah CHS, Ryerson, U of T $ 47,500
2004 Centre for Disabilities Studies: Attention-getting for video conferencing D. Fels $ 5,000
2004 Ryerson International Fund – visiting scholar application for dTV. D. Fels $ 5,000
2004 Ontario Media Development Corporation: Odd Job Jack Described Smiley Guy Studios, D. Fels, Krystal Music $ 70,000
2004 Ontario Media Development Corporation: Burnt Toast Marblemedia, D. Fels, Rhombus Media $ 70,000
2004 CITO: Techreadiness program: Enhanced captioning for Fluition. Confluent Technologies, D. Fels $ 25,000
2003 CANARIE ARIM: Opportunities for Canadian Deaf Youth through Broadband Web Applications - extension D. Fels, Marblemedia Inc., Canadian Hearing Society, University of Toronto $ 100,000
2003 Vodafone Visiting Scholar Fund J. Masthoff, D. Fels £5,000
2003-2004 Heritage Canada New Media Research Network: Canadian Network for Inclusive Cultural Experience (CNICE) J. Treviranus, D. Fels, R. Mayot, D. Steinstra, etc. $ 163,655 of $2M
2002-2003 CANARIE ARIM: Opportunities for Canadian Deaf Youth through Broadband Web Applications D. Fels, Marblemedia Inc., Canadian Hearing Society, University of Toronto $ 82,172 of $400,000
2002-2004 CANARIE: TILE Learning Object Repository J. Treviranus, R. Mayot, D. Fels, K. Taylor, etc $ 260,460 of $3M
2003 CITO: Student Fellowship Funding D. Fels, K. Radmacher (student) $ 16,500
2001 OLT Development Grant: Inclusive Learning Connection CHS, UofT, D. Fels $ 5,000 of $25,000 development grant
2001 NSERC Equipment Grant D. Fels $ 11,000
2001-2005 NSERC Operating Grant. D. Fels $ 25,000 per year (total $100,000)
2000-2002 CITO: Emotive Captioning for Improved Access to Interactive Television D. Fels $ 110,000
2000-2002 CANARIE: Barrier-free distance education J. Treviranus, R. Mayot, D. Fels, K. Taylor, etc. $ 367,765.00 of 3,024,232
2000-2002 Interactive Broadcast Ontario M. Foster, M. Murphy, D. Fels $ 30,000 of $1,300,000
1999-2001 Ontario TAP Grant (Towards Inclusive Distance Education) J. Treviranus, D. Fels, $ 129,000 of a $650,000 project
1998-1999 Ontario Ministry of Education and Training (PEBBLES) D. Fels $ 104,000
1998-1999 CANARIE – TAD Grant (PEBBLES) D. Fels, G. Smith, J. Treviranus $ 159,901
1998 Ontario Provincial and Demonstration Schools (PEBBLES) D. Fels. $ 15,000
1998-1999 Industry Canada, Notemakers Programme (Instruction Design for New Media Web Course) C. Blanchette, D. Fels $ 100,000
1997-1998 Ontario Ministry of Education and Training, TIPPS II (SNOW Project) J. Treviranus, D. Fels $ 150,000 of $1,000,000
1997-2001 NSERC (Operating Grant) D. Fels $ 56,000
1996-1999 Ontario Workstudy Programme, 10 part-time student positions awarded (3-4 per year) D. Fels $ 20,000 (at $1,500 or $2,000 each)
1996-2000 Human Resources Development Canada, Summer Student Experience Grants, 2-3 positions awarded per year D. Fels $ 32,200 (2,300 per position)
1996 Industry Canada (Translation of WiViK into French) F. Shein, D. Fels $ 35,000

Sponsorships, fundraising activities and internal funding awards

Date Organisation & Project Amount
2002 ADC Foundation $7,500
2002 Wayne Gretzky Golf Tournament $ 50,000
2001 Wayne Gretzky Golf Tournament $ 50,000
2001 Internal SRC funds $ 5,000
2000 Rythyms Canada $ 4,000
2000 Clublinks Golf Promotion $ 16,000
2000 Wayne Gretzky Golf Tournament $ 50,000
1999-2000 Gift and Tableware Association (PEBBLES) $ 50,000
1999-2000 CIBC Children’s Miracle Network (PEBBLES) $ 25,000
1998-2002 The Bay and Wayne Gretzky (PEBBLES) up to $600,000 ($191,000 was received for 2001/2002 deployment year)
1998-1999 Canadian International Employees Foundation (PEBBLES) $ 7,000
1998-present Other sponsorships various sources and individuals (e.g., Birks Foundation, individuals (PEBBLES) approximately $ 10,000
1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Ryerson Summer Research Assistant Programme, 3 positions awarded $ 30,000 (7,500/year)
1996-2000 Ryerson Polytechnic University, Centre for Learning Technologies (operating grant) $ 160,000 (total for 5 years)
1997 Royal Bank (PEBBLES) $ 50,000
1996 Canadian Banking Association (Access to ATMs) $ 760
1996 Bank of Montreal (Deaf Tellers) $ 1,500
1995 Ryerson Polytechnic University (Seed grant for startup) $ 1,500

Training of Highly Qualified Personnel

Graduate Activities


Received adjunct status at the Departments of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Toronto.


Approved to supervise Masters and PhD level students in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and Electrical Engineering at Ryerson.


Approved to supervise Masters and PhD level students in the newly-approved graduate programme in Culture and Communication.

Graduate Students

Date began Name Dept Thesis Title/Thesis area Status
2012 Joseph Moscatiello MSc Sign Link Studio In-progress
2012 Xue Fei MMSc Audio description In-progress
2012 Barry Donaldson MBA Major Research Proposal Completed May 2012
2012 Robert Longworth MBA Evaluation of accessibility of Trillium Foundation website Completed May 2012
2011 Michael Pouris MSc (Comp Sci) Music visualization In-progress
2011 Gregory Dolamar MMSc To be determined In progress
2010 Sai Cherukumilli MSc (Comp Sci) Emoti-chair In-progress
2009 Gemma Webster PhD (committee member) Portrait for people with dementia Completed Sept. 11
2009 Carmen Branje PhD (supervisor) Vibrational music In-progress
2008 Jorge Mori MSc (Comp. Sci)(co-supervisor) EnACT Completed May 2012
2008 Quoc Vy MSc (Comp. Sci) (co-supervisor) Emotive captioning Completed May 2012
2007 David Smith PhD (Comm/cult) (on committee) Remote pleasure Completed Nov. 2011
2007 Chrislyn Tziortzis MBA (IT) (supervisor) Making presentations more accessible. Completed Sept. 08
2007 Ellen Hibbard PhD (Comm/Cult) (supervisor) SignLink Studio In-progress
2007 David Fourney PhD (Mech. Eng.) (co-supervisor) Enhanced captioning Did not complete
2007 John Riccio M.M.Sc (IT) (supervisor) A comparison between first person and conventional audio description: A longitudinal study Completed Sept. 08
2007 Danielle Lotterige PhD (Ind. Eng.) (PhD committee member) Continuous measurement of emotion Completed Oct. 2010
2006 Claude Gagne M.A. (Comm/Cult) (supervisor) Learning through Weblogs: Students’ Perspective and Learning Evidence Completed Dec. 2007
2006 Carmen Branje MMSc (IT) (supervisor) LiveDescribe Completed Jan. 2008
2006 Rob Bajko PhD (Comm/Cult) (supervisor) Culture of mobile technology In progress
2006 Avrim Katzman PhD (Comm/Cult) (supervisor) Effect of esthetic on gameplay and game design Did not complete
2006 Wael Aboelsaadat PhD (Comp. Sci.): U of Toronto (co-supervisor) Religious User Interfaces Completed May 2012
2005 Norma Thompson MASc. (Comp. Eng.) (co-supervisor) SignLink Studio Completed Nov. 2008
2005 Raisa Rashid M.Sc (FIS): University of Toronto (co-supervisor) Enhanced captioning Completed Jan. 2008.
2004 Daniel Lee MASc (Comp. Eng.) (co-supervisor) Accessible gaming Did not complete
2004 Bertha Konstantinidis M.Eng. (Comp. Eng.) (supervisor) PEBBLES Completed 2006
2004 JP Udo MA (Comm/Cult) (supervisor) Art-based writing Defended Oct. 2005 – completed
2003 Franklyn Prescod PhD (Ed.) Nova University (co-supervisor) Education technology Completed Feb. 2008
2002 Jason Yeung MASc. (Comp.Eng.) (co-supervisor) PEBBLES Defended Sept. 2005 - completed
2002 Vera Roberts PhD (OISE): University of Toronto (co-supervisor) Methods for inclusion employing think aloud protocols in software usability studies with individuals who are deaf Completed
2001 Sima Soudian MSc. (Elec. Eng. UBC) (co-supervisor) Verbal Source Code Descriptor  
2001 Vic Singh MSc. (Mech. Eng.) (co-supervisor) Tactile music Did not complete
1996 Laurel Williams MSc. (Elec. Eng. Western) (co-supervisor) PEBBLES Completed

Graduate committees

I have served on four master’ level graduate committees in Industrial Engineering since 2006 at the University of Toronto and many others at Ryerson, York and the University of Toronto for different departments.

Undergraduate Theses

Summary: 13 completed

Date began Name Dept Thesis Title/Thesis Area Status
2007 George Zamfir CS Multi-platform optimization of SignLink Studio Completed
2007 Martin Gerzhev CS Closed captioning for SignLink Studio Completed
2005 Michael Reid CS Nukris: An accessible game Completed
2004 Anisha Kamath IE PEBBLES Completed
2004 Florence Lau IE PEBBLES Completed
2004 Carmen Branje CS LiveDescribe Completed
2003 Wai Cheung CS PEBBLES Completed
2001 Danny Lee CS Enhanced Captioning Completed
2001 Duraid Abbas EE PEBBLES Completed
1999 Vic Singh Mech. Eng. Fuzzy Logic to Provide High Level Control of PEBBLES Completed
1998 Rich Yim EE Design of an Infrared Gamepad for PEBBLES Completed
1998 Derek Lam EE Design of a 6811 Microcontroller Circuit for a Servo-Motor Completed
1998 Ivan Fung EE Design of Control Circuit to Activate and De-activate Four Attention-Getting Device Completed