Our History

ATN was founded in 1984, and incorporated in 1988 under the name Audio Tactile Network. It began as a research project searching for ways to connect talented trained individuals with disabilities to the workforce. In March of 1991 we began to offer formal pre-employment training programs to adults with visual impairments. In 1994, our mandate was expanded to include people with learning disabilities and, in 1995 we changed our name to Accommodation Training and Networking to capture a better sense of the services we had grown to support.

Today, we serve adults with all types of disabilities. ATN underwent major expansion following our move to the Skill Centre in March of 1997. We now have 2 computer labs to accommodate 10 participants in each, as well as a third, very specialized Alternative Access Community Computer Lab, which opened its doors in June of 2000. This 6-computer facility is designed to assist participants who have more involved physical, sensorial or learning disabilities learn to use a variety of specialized assistive technologies. We also have a satellite lab located in the Cherryhill area and offer our services to participants in Elgin, Middlesex, and Oxford Counties.

We utilize the most up-to-date hardware and software to prepare our participants for employment, help them understand the benefits of pursuing further education, or improve their standards of day-to-day activities.

What’s in a name?

A famous author once penned, “What’s in a name?” The staff of ATN are only too well aware of the profound responses to that innocent remark.

From our birth as “Audio Tactile Network Inc.” to our days as “Accommodation, Training and Networking for Persons with Disabilities” to our brand name “atn starting today” to our simplified version of “ATN” – we were always faced with the inevitable question…….”but what does ATN stand for????”

Rather than go into the intimate details of our history and the reasoning behind our choice of moniker, there is a solution to this dilemma that not only answers the question but should leave the inquiring mind with a better understanding of who we are and what we do.

So the next time you are faced with the question “what does ATN stand for?” – don’t find yourself knee deep in an historical trip down memory lane…. Simply tell them this –

  • ATN stands for dedication, compassion, and hard work
  • It stands for opportunities for all
  • It stands for access and the right to education, training and employment for individuals who face challenges on a daily basis
  • ATN stands for the fundamental right for all people to be given a chance to try

What’s in a name? Plenty.