BIG IDeA partners with Entertainment District BIA to enhance accessibility for customers

Toronto Entertainment District BIA logo
BIG IDeA logo
Monday, June 18, 2018

OCAD University’s Inclusive Design Research Centre is pleased to announce a new partnership between BIG IDeA, OCAD University’s business accessibility innovation project, and The Toronto Entertainment District BIA. The partnership features the implementation of the BIG IDeA platform, Ontario’s first end-to-end platform on accessibility for businesses and their customers, allowing businesses to offer an inclusive customer experience. 

The BIG IDeA platform provides a space for businesses to set up a customer feedback account, learn about accessibility solutionsfrom similar businesses, getresources and training on providing an inclusive customer experience, and be promotedon Accessibility Cloud and in the BIG IDeA Showcase. Businesses can also earn badges for accessibility achievementsto display on their premises and websites. 

Everyone is included in BIG IDeA’s process for accessibility innovation. OCAD U’s Inclusive Design Research Centre leads a consortium that is developing and implementing the BIG IDeA platform. Anyone can submit an accessibility challenge and participate in inclusive design challenge events, where solutions are created by a diverse mix of customers, designers and business owners. 

As the John Street Cultural Corridor undergoes improvements, BIG IDeA will work with local businesses to help them upgrade their accessibility-readiness. BIG IDeA teams will be visiting the area in June and July, and organizing a special John Street Inclusive Design Challenge to help keep John Street accessible, both while construction is underway, and afterwards. 

Businesses and customers can register on BIG IDeA’s website to prepare for these challenges together. Visit www.bigidea.one to participate. 

About OCAD University
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada’s university of the imagination. Founded in 1876, the university is dedicated to art, design and digital media education, practice and research, and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. 

About the Toronto Entertainment District BIA
Established in 2008, in support of the businesses of this area, the Toronto Entertainment District BIA’s (http://torontoed.com/) mandate is to promote, improve and preserve this dynamic area of Toronto. Benefitting from economic, environmental and social factors driving downtown growth, the Entertainment District has established itself as a thriving and vibrant district for living, creating, working and entertainment.

About the Inclusive Design Research Centre
The Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) (https://idrc.ocadu.ca/) is a research and development centre at OCAD University where an international community of open source developers, designers, researchers, advocates, and volunteers work together to ensure that emerging information technology and practices are designed inclusively.

OCAD U professor talks to CBC about AI and accessibility

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre, Jutta Treviranus, is featured on the latest edition of Spark, CBC Radio’s program on technology in our rapidly changing world. Titled “AI's problem with disability and diversity,” the episode looks at how machine learning doesn’t take into account people who don’t fit into the “norm.” Treviranus’s work focuses on creating more inclusive and accessible technology, and how we can improve artificial intelligence systems so they can better serve everyone, including people with disabilities.

You can listen to the episode on CBC Radio One on Sunday Sept. 10 at 1:05 p.m. and Wednesday Sept. 13 at 2:05 p.m., or listen online

Jammers! An Inclusive Game Jam Workshop

Jammers Logo
Saturday, May 16, 2015 - 2:30pm to 9:30pm

Twine is a radical game authorship tool harnessed by the independent games community for making expressive, experimental, and socially conscious text-based games. This inclusive Game Jam deploys Twine as an innovative method for interactive storytelling in a 7-hour, hands-on workshop. Jammers design interactive stories, choose-your-own adventure games, and e-poetry in order to explore digital game authorship as a creative medium of expression.

A Game Jam Story: Designing expressive games with Twine

Each jammer develops a game using the Twine 2.0 freeware. Participants will gain basic proficiency in the conceptual, aesthetic, and technical dimensions of text-based game authorship and its markup and scripting languages: HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Upon completion of games, jammers are invited to playtest each other’s games and upload and share their creations online. This workshop will accommodate the accessibility needs of jammers.

Game jam theme: Jammers are invited to interpret and creatively translate the game jam’s theme into their games: What strange world and untold coincidences.

Total workshop participants: 10

Experience level and requirements: No prior game development, programming or graphic design skills are required. We will supply laptops, unless you prefer to bring your own.

Facilitator: Sandra Danilovic, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto.

Learning outcomes:

  • Detailed understanding of text-based Twine game development including basic proficiency in HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
  • Basic proficiency in conceptual, aesthetic and technical dimensions of text-based game design and development (ex: game idea, interactive story, audio-visual design, game rules, player choices and outcomes, etc.) 
  • Fundamental Introduction to creative and procedural (rule-based) experimentation with text-based games. 
  • Introduction to the iterative and collaborative process of DIY game design and development.

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.

Organizers: Gordon Waller and David Pereyra

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 49 McCaul Street Participatory Inclusive Design Lab, Inclusive Design Institute, Room 4904,
Website: 
Email: 
Cost: 
$20.00 (lunch and refreshments are included). Subsidized by the Inclusive Design Research Center.

Monthly Open Review at the Inclusive Design Research Centre

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

Please join us!

Interested in having a say about inclusive design? Want your ideas about digital accessibility heard? Your feedback is important to us!

We will be holding a monthly, open design review meeting where we will present work from current and ongoing projects at the Inclusive Design Research Centre. We want to hear from you -- our potential users, fellow designers and anyone interested in seeing what we're up to here at the IDRC. Spread the word!

Join us from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at the Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University, 205 Richmond St., 2nd floor.

If you are interested please respond with your preferred contact information. You will receive a reminder each month and you can choose to participate on a month-by-month basis.

Questions or concerns? Please send an email to dayotte@ocadu.ca.

The IDRC is a research and development centre at OCAD University where an international community of open source developers, designers, researchers, advocates, and volunteers work together to ensure that emerging information technology and practices are designed inclusively. Learn more about the IDRC.

Venue & Address: 
Inclusive Design Research Centre, 2nd Floor 205 Richmond Street West Toronto, Ontario
Website: 
Email: 
dayotte@ocadu.ca
Cost: 
Free