REIMAGINING ACCESSIBILITY DESIGN CHALLENGE FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

Reimagining Accessibility design team finalists. Photo by Martin Iskandar.
Reimagining Accessibility finalist Daton Hadwen. Photo by Martin Iskandar.
Design concept by Taghreed Al-Zubaidi, Julie Buelow, Yijin Jiang and Arief Yulianto
Design concept by Dalton Hadwen.

The Honourable David C. Onley and Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD U’s President, congratulated Dalton Hadwen and a design team of Taghreed Al-Zubaidi, Julie Buelow, Yijin Jiang and Arief Yulianto as the finalists in OCAD University’s Inclusive Design Research Centre’s (IDRC) major international student design challenge to reimagine the traditional symbol of access. Her Royal Highness, the Countess of Wessex attended the official announcement on November 1.

A blue chip panel of international jurors selected the two finalist concepts from over 100 designs in a blind judging process. Submissions came from across Canada and also from Argentina, China, Finland, France, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Mexico and the UK.

The goal of the Reimagining Accessibility Design Challenge was to create designs to replace the traditional wheelchair sign with a more encompassing and inclusive symbol (or symbols) of accessibility. During the judging process the jurors realized the complexity of the design task to communicate a multi-faceted and nuanced message. Although the panel did not select a winner from the submissions, the two finalists were singled out to merit Honourable Mention. The IDRC will work with the finalists over the winter and spring to refine their submissions.

The reworked designs will be featured at:

  • The International Design Enabling Economic Policies Conference at OCAD U in May, 2014.
  • A consultation on the symbol redesign hosted by Jutta Treviranus, the director of IDRC on behalf of the International Standards Organization in late May, 2014.
  • The International Summit of Accessibility at Carleton University in Ottawa in July, 2014.
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Onley commended the work of everyone who entered the competition, describing their contributions as thoughtful, innovative and creative. He also praised the IDRC’s efforts and the success of the challenge overall.

Hon. Onley said he wanted to raise awareness of the fact that, counter-intuitively, the International Symbol of Access is exclusionary because the majority of disabilities are not visible. “Well, we certainly succeeded in raising awareness, if media coverage is any indication," he said. "There was a great deal of public debate and discussion, online and in the mainstream universe, certainly in the Twitterverse engaging people with and without disabilities.”

Dr. Diamond also praised the results of the challenge. “Together we have initiated a process that raised awareness among the broader public and those who participated in the competition itself,” she said. “We hope these design concepts will grow and reach their fullest potential.”

Learn more

Read more about the history of the International Symbol of Access 

OCAD U’s Inclusive Design Research Centre 

Hon. David C. Onley

International Standards Organization

 

CONSIDER INCLUSIVE DESIGN ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Inclusive developers collaborating while writing code in the IDRC. Image courtesy Government of Ontario.
Inclusive designers in the IDRC collaborate on a shared computer. Image courtesy Government of Ontario.

Were you aware that many of the innovations we take for granted today were motivated by a desire to design for someone with a disability? These innovations include email, the telephone, scanners and the smarts that know you meant to chose an “s” rather than a “d” on your smartphone.

This United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3), consider designing for the full range of human diversity.

We are sparked to greater innovation when we consider more than the typical or average user. When we design for the full diversity of users, our designs are bound to benefit everyone. We are also tapping into the growing demand globally for inclusively designed products, a demand that is bolstered by an aging population. 

By the time you reach 75 years of age you have a 64 per cent chance of experiencing a permanent disability. Even if you are in the minority, without a disability, most of your family, friends and colleagues will experience a disability. This is not even counting situational disabilities such as when your hands are busy, your eyes are focused on something else, or you are in a very noisy environment.

A future-proof industry

This growing trend also means that if you want to join a new future-proof industry, you may wish to consider inclusive design. Not only is this new emerging industry highly likely to continue expanding but also, unlike many other industries, it is without negative social or environmental impacts. Inclusive design is a catalyst in the move away from mass production to more personalized design and production. It is part of a virtuous cycle that leads to greater economic inclusion. This means a happier, healthier and wealthier society overall.

Learn more

The OCAD U community is a great place to get involved in inclusive design. Among the university’s resources are the Inclusive Design Research Centre, a world leader in the topic, the Inclusive Design Institute, a regional research hub, and a MDes program in Inclusive Design.

Story by Jutta Treviranus, Director, Inclusive Design Research Centre and Graduate Program Director, Inclusive Design

Hack! Toys for Accessibility Workshop

 Hack! Toys for Accessibility Workshop
Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 3:00pm

Presented by IN Series

This workshop will teach you to adapt battery-operated toys to make them more accessible for children with disabilities. Through hands-on activities, you will learn to solder and modify simple electronics.

What is Switch Accessibility for Toys?

Playing with “off-the-shelf” toys is not possible for many children with physical disabilities. However, if a child can use their feet, arm, mouth, head or a part of their body consistently, then it is possible to add a switch to make the toy accessible without affecting the function - as the existing button will still operate as it was originally intended.

Everyone is welcome to this fun workshop including: parent(s), guardians, relatives and family friends; occupational, physical, music and recreational therapists; speech language pathologists; makers and tinkerers. Children under 16 are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost: $25.00 per kit
COMPLIMENTARY REGISTRATION
A limited number of fully subsidized kits are available at no cost to registrants; please inquire.

Facilitator: Jorge Silva, Inclusive Technology Developer at the Inclusive Design Research Center; Sessional Instructor, Faculty of Liberal Arts, OCAD University.

In this workshop registrants will learn to:
1. Identify areas on the body that an individual with a physical disability can use to access an ability switch.
2. Describe features of a toy that allow for switch accessibility.
3. Identify components required for a switch to work.
4. Open and understand the wiring of a toy from battery to switches to the activation of the device.
5. Modify an off-the-shelf toy and add a switch jack for accessibility.
Toys for ‘Hacking’

You may bring a toy to modify, or we will provide a donated toy. If you are bringing a toy, make sure it runs on batteries, (no AC/wall plug in toys). Toys with a simple operation such as a touch, squeeze, pull operation, e.g. a stuffed animal that makes noise when squeezed, a functional toy like a bubble maker, or remote control toys, are suitable for modification.

IN Series, is a series of public presentations, which promotes discussion and engagement on a wide variety of topics about Inclusion - Disability, Accessibility, Health, Education, Culture and the Arts. IN Series is hosted by the Inclusive Design Institute (IDI) at OCAD University. The IDI is a hub of applied research that addresses the challenge of design that is inclusive of the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age, including users with disabilities, language needs and various cultural preferences. Through research, industry collaboration, education and civic engagement, the IDI fosters the goals of an innovative, creative and inclusive society.
Please contact idi@ocad.ca for any accessibility needs. Those requiring attendant care are the responsibility of the registrant.

Contact: David Pereyra, Ph. Inclusive Design Institute, OCAD University, 49 McCaul Street. Telephone: 416-977-6000 Ext. 4672, Email: dpereyra@ocadu.ca

Refreshments provided.

 

dpereyra@ocadu.ca

 

 

$25.00 per kit (individuals or groups are welcome)

Venue & Address: 
Participatory Inclusive Design Lab, Inclusive Design Institute, Room 4904 49 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario

Common Pulse Intersecting Abilities Art Festival and Symposium 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 4:00am to Sunday, August 4, 2013 - 4:00am

Call for Submissions - Co-sponsored by OCAD University

Cripping Cyberspace: A Contemporary Virtual Art Exhibition
Friday September 27 – Friday December 20, 2013

Curated by Amanda Cachia with the curatorial committee, which includes
Jay Dolmage, Editor, Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, and Geoffrey Shea, Artistic Co-Director, Common Pulse Intersecting Abilities Art Festival, OCAD University, Toronto, Canada

DEADLINE for submissions: Sunday, August 04, 2013

INTRODUCTION
Cripping Cyberspace: A Contemporary Virtual Art Exhibition
is an online exhibition that will offer a multi-modal, multi-sensorial platform for a crip phenomenology of cyberspace. The Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, in collaboration with the COMMON PULSE Intersecting Abilities Art Festival and Symposium, will be hosting the exhibition at its website: http://cjds.uwaterloo.ca/index.php/cjds. The curatorial committee welcomes submissions of (new and recent) work for this online exhibition from contemporary artists, collectives, community builders and can be makers of all kinds in the Deaf and Disability Arts movement. Works should address the main themes of the exhibition and are intended to work in an online context. Documentation of work created for spaces other than the web will not be considered. This unique online exhibition, to debut in The Canadian Journal of Disability Studies in a new experimental format, will offer and therefore encourages submissions like audio description and verbal imaging, language and text such as captions, subtitles and audio transcripts, still and moving image, and sound-based work especially designed and created for virtual display, by artists who explore the exhibition’s challenging questions and ideas in order to crip cyberspace. Artists are encouraged to collaborate as a means to build virtual community and the space will feature a blog to enhance participation from diverse audiences. Artist fees will be paid. The copyright for artworks used in the exhibition remains with the artists.

EXHIBITION THEME
What does a crip intervention in cyberspace look like and how might it inhabit it? How might the representation of disability differ or be expanded online, in the space of a computer screen? Evolving technologies have enhanced access and assistance for disabled people to a new, dynamic level, where they are able to now communicate through computerized voice, text and image. Can cyberspace then, be considered a type of brain, or prosthesis, that provides emotional, intellectual and sensorial support for disabled people? Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have also enabled disabled people to participate in an online community that might offer alternative possibilities for both their physical and metaphorical mobility. Crip movement in cyberspace is likely to look, feel and sound different to the everyday social realities of their movement in real time that is often littered with barriers in an urban environment designed for the so-called average person. What are the alternative constraints for disabled people in cyberspace, and what kinds of crip artistic interpretations can fill out these spaces in order to make new meaning? The pulse of technology is one that continues to migrate our now posthuman/machine bodies – all bodies – to realms where our embodiments and our senses develop new relationships with space. What might the virtual realm offer disability aesthetics? The body’s exteriority and interiority becomes usefully abstracted or ‘common’ in its difference, through the filter of technological apparatuses. This effectively moves us away from binaries, such as disability/ability, and instead focuses on a phenomenology of cyberspace, which in turn provides a new language and code for complex embodiment.
Modes of conventional sensorial access that are occasionally found in a museum setting, such as audio description, audio transcripts or captions, will be offered in this online exhibition, where they will not only continue to function as dynamic modes of interpretation and communication, but they also become independent works of art in themselves, which carry their own weight and space in this virtual crip architecture.

IMPORTANT DATES
Proposals must be received by SUNDAY AUGUST 4, 2013.

Notification of acceptance will be distributed by MONDAY AUGUST 12, 2013.

Final successful artworks must be delivered as digital files by MONDAY SEPTEMBER 2, 2013.

The exhibition will be launched on The Canadian Journal of Disability Studies website on the same date as the launch of the Common Pulse Intersecting Abilities Art Festival on FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 27, 2013. The exhibition will be presented for a three month period (until FRIDAY DECEMBER 20, 2013), documented, and subsequently archived online by the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies and the Common Pulse Art Festival.

ABOUT THE CURATOR
Amanda Cachia
is an independent curator from Sydney, Australia and is currently completing her PhD in Art History, Theory & Criticism at the University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation will focus on the intersection of disability and contemporary art. She held the position Director/Curator of the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada from 2007-2010, and has curated approximately 30 exhibitions over the last ten years in various cities across the USA, England, Australia and Canada. Cripping Cyberspace: A Contemporary Virtual Art Exhibition will be her first online curatorial project.

 

www.commonpulse.ca/exhibitions-cripping.php

Common Pulse: Symposium

 Common Pulse: Symposium
Friday, September 27, 2013 - 1:00pm

Collaboration and Inclusion

Jutta Treviranus
Deb Fels
Janis Timm-Bottos
Judith Snow
Discussion

Artists and Researchers Discuss Art and Disability

The coupling of disability art with emerging research practices allows for a comparison of the values of embodied experience in academic and studio-based activities and a new formulation of their intersection.
The hybrid work being done by practitioners, both artists and researchers, describes a further shift away from the centre towards inclusive and experiential processes and results. Methodologies are likewise being expanded that transform the functions of research in ways that makes it more responsive to the complexities of the subject. This fusion of research and creation is evident in the work being done in the fields of art production, Disability Studies and Disability Art and Culture by all of the participants invited to the symposium. Their contributions to the dialogue will address the applicability of a research/creation model in the ongoing effort to bring more light and understanding to our evolving conception of disability and the contributions that disability culture brings to society generally.

Jutta Treviranus, Inclusive Design, OCAD University

Outside-In

Our economic, social and physical survival depends on diversity. Inequity and disparity of opportunity erodes our social cohesion, health and wealth. However, we rarely design our systems and practices for diversity and inclusion. The margins encompass us all. Our design should begin at the margins for a healthier, wealthier and wiser society. This session will explore current disruptions brought about by global networks, pull markets, mass customization systems, cloud services and pervasive technologies that provide opportunities to support greater diversity and inclusion.

Deborah Fels, Ryerson University

Vibrotactility as a Viable Method for Creating More Inclusive Music

In this presentation creating vibrotactile music will be discussed as a theoretical and practical method of inclusive entertainment, particularly for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. A set of tactile instruments, Vibromotion and Vibrochord, as well as a vibrotactile display, the Emoti-Chair, will be presented and demonstrated. Vibrotactility is not only a new accessible art form but it is also allowing new media artists to explore a completely new genre.

Janis Timm-Bottos, Creative Arts Therapies, Concordia University

When Being the Audience is Not Enough: Becoming the "Loving Third"

This presentation will address how a storefront classroom/studio brings together diverse individuals who serve as social supports for each other in order to create meaningful community life. Kristeva's notion of "the loving third" or "the loving support of the social" (in Oliver, 2002) helps us to think about how a sense of belonging through the arts can counteract alienation that has been imposed by values of the dominant culture. Watkins and Shulman's (2008) "liberation arts" demonstrate how individual and groups limit situations that can be re-imagined through sustained studio relationships, fostering a greater sense of wellbeing, as well as positively influencing an entire community's sense of hope. Folk art methods of interaction, such as: "the third hand," "each one, teach one," non-juried community art exhibits and métissage practices will be shared as they are currently being researched at La Ruche d'Art: Community Studio and Science Shop in Montreal, affectionately known as the "art hive."

Judith Snow, Laser Eagles Art Guild, Founder

Inclusion as Valuing Diversity

Inclusion is typically defined as the opposite of exclusion, but this does not capture the richness of the struggle for diverse abilities, cultures and ways of being to find a place in a society where "normal" is fundamental to the design of everything. Art that is created through facilitation challenges what and how we determine value. It provides a context for examining and building partnership and collaboration. Inclusive, collaborative art making stands as a beacon to highlight human capacity against the hegemony of an increasingly robotic, materialist monoculture. This presentation will explain and show examples of making art through cooperation. I will place this process in a cultural context and provide participants with a sense of how working with diverse personal gifts can enrich society for everyone.

 

647-330-2989

 

www.commonpulse.ca/symposium.php

geoffrey@commonpulse.ca

Venue & Address: 
Durham Town Hall 185 George Street West Durham, Ontario

Common Pulse: Symposium

Common Pulse: Symposium
Friday, September 27, 2013 - 5:30pm

Creation and Research

Emily Cook
Grahame Lynch
Nancy D-Halifax
Kim Jackson
Discussionn

Artists and Researchers Discuss Art and Disability

The coupling of disability art with emerging research practices allows for a comparison of the values of embodied experience in academic and studio-based activities and a new formulation of their intersection.
The hybrid work being done by practitioners, both artists and researchers, describes a further shift away from the centre towards inclusive and experiential processes and results. Methodologies are likewise being expanded that transform the functions of research in ways that makes it more responsive to the complexities of the subject. This fusion of research and creation is evident in the work being done in the fields of art production, Disability Studies and Disability Art and Culture by all of the participants invited to the symposium. Their contributions to the dialogue will address the applicability of a research/creation model in the ongoing effort to bring more light and understanding to our evolving conception of disability and the contributions that disability culture brings to society generally.

Emily Cook, OCAD University
Emily Cook holds a MFA in Printmaking from

Louisiana State University (2008) which she undertook after completing her BFA at OCADU in 2005. Over the past ten years, her work has been included in over 30 group exhibitions in the United States and Canada. Her most recent solo exhibition, Dextrocardia, was presented at Lennox Contemporary in Toronto (2012). Since 2008, Cook has held the position of Sessional Instructor in papermaking and printmaking at OCADU. Her accomplishments have been recognized by nine different awards and scholarships, and her work can be found in both private and public collections, including the Toronto Reference Library Rare Books Collection.

Grahame Lynch, Ryerson University

Experiencing Art: Enhancing Experience for Extended Audiences with Transmedia Communication

For those members of the public whose capacity for direct experience of artwork is limited for reasons of ability or location, the means of exposure to cultural productions is often based in descriptive practice. This research project proposes a communication strategy aimed at enhancing public engagement and connecting audiences through nuanced multi-modal experiences. This transmedia model does not attempt to recreate the direct experience of an artwork; rather it encourages the development and sharing of new and highly individualized experiences that are accessible to members of the public with a diverse range of abilities.

Nancy Davis Halifax, Graduate Program in Critical Disability Studies, York University

Disability as Difficult Knowledge: A
Phenomenology of Undecidability

"Disability as undecidability is deeply unsettling to the cultural imaginary, particularly one that incorporates an image of the embodied self as whole, separate and invulnerable." - Shildrick, 763
The artist's embodiment of disability as "undecidability" unsettles and leaks through a cultural imaginary that requests a whole, separate and invulnerable embodiment. How does uncertain or undecidable embodiment effect artistic production? The proposed presentation addresses ordinary experiences of disability embodiment and their effects on the practices of art within community when they are made explicit.

 

647-330-2989

 

www.commonpulse.ca/symposium.php

geoffrey@commonpulse.ca

Venue & Address: 
Durham Town Hall 185 George Street West Durham, Ontario

Common Pulse: Symposium

Common Pulse: Symposium
Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 1:00pm

Language Making

Jay Dolmage
Sarah Gibbons
Amanda Cachia
Next Steps

Artists and Researchers Discuss Art and Disability

The coupling of disability art with emerging research practices allows for a comparison of the values of embodied experience in academic and studio-based activities and a new formulation of their intersection.
The hybrid work being done by practitioners, both artists and researchers, describes a further shift away from the centre towards inclusive and experiential processes and results. Methodologies are likewise being expanded that transform the functions of research in ways that makes it more responsive to the complexities of the subject. This fusion of research and creation is evident in the work being done in the fields of art production, Disability Studies and Disability Art and Culture by all of the participants invited to the symposium. Their contributions to the dialogue will address the applicability of a research/creation model in the ongoing effort to bring more light and understanding to our evolving conception of disability and the contributions that disability culture brings to society generally.

Jay Dolmage, Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, University of Waterloo

Disability Space-Time-Economy

This presentation examines a series of disability metaphors that have worked to freeze disability in particular spaces, times, and economies, delimiting possibilities for critique. With reference to Canadian geographies, architecture and public institutions, this presentation will offer new possibilities for remaking public space; with reference to reified myths and histories of disability in Canada, it will remix crip chronologies; and, with reference to the late-capitalist values for non-normative bodies and minds, it will refigure the productive work of disability.

Amanda Cachia, Independent Curator

Cripping Cyberspace: A Contemporary Virtual Art Exhibition

What does a crip intervention in cyberspace look like and how might it inhabit it? How might the representation of disability differ or be expanded online, in the space of a computer screen? Evolving technologies have enhanced access and assistance for disabled people to a new, dynamic level, where they are able to now communicate through computerized voice, text and image. Can cyberspace then, be considered a type of brain, or prosthesis, that provides emotional, intellectual and sensorial support for disabled people?

 

647-330-2989

 

www.commonpulse.ca/symposium.php

geoffrey@commonpulse.ca

Venue & Address: 
Durham Town Hall 185 George Street West Durham, Ontario

Accessibility Clinic

Accessibility Clinic
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 4:00am to Saturday, May 31, 2014 - 4:00am

Brought to you by the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and the Inclusive Design Institute (IDI)

We take website accessibility seriously and so
should all website developers. If you are not sure your website passes at least the minimum
standards of accessibility required by the AODA, the Inclusive Design Research Centre now offers a free weekly clinic to help you check on the condition of your website.

A healthy website is an inclusive website! Make sure:
✓ Information is well structured and easily navigable
✓ Dynamic content is simple to understand and control
✓ Media is captioned and described
✓ Layout is adaptable and responsive
✓ Site complies with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0

The web accessibility professionals are in on Tuesday afternoons for free consultations. We can examine your website to:
➡ Check for any accessibility problems
➡ Test your site with assistive technology
➡ Prescribe a remedy for existing accessibility issues
➡ Consult on next steps for achieving full accessibility compliance

clinic.idrc.ocad.ca/

 

Free

Venue & Address: 
Inclusive Design Research Centre 49 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario

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