Research Wednesdays: Inclusive Economies, Inclusive Cities 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Join designer Cheryl Li and software developer Alan Harnum of OCADU’s Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) to learn about the IDRC’s work, with a focus on two recent projects: the Platform Cooperative Development Kit and Co-Designing Inclusive Cities.

About the IDRC:

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.   The IDRC’s design research encompasses disability and accessibility, economics, social justice and other inclusion-related areas of design. 

Cheryl Li is a designer and user researcher who is passionate about using participatory and inclusive design practices to transform human needs into tangible digital experiences and services. Her practice includes the end-to-end design process, from exploratory user research all the way through to UX/UI design and user testing. 

Alan Harnum is a software developer and design researcher whose interests include accessible technology, multimodal content presentation and inclusive design practice for software development. 

For more info about the IDRC visit:


Research Wednesdays is a speaker series presented by the OCAD U Library. It's a forum for anyone (undergrad or graduate students, staff, or faculty) to present in a casual, supportive environment about research activities, collections and more. We apply a broad definition of research which includes a variety of activities within the domains of art, design, libraries and archives. This event is open to all members of the OCAD U community as well as the general public.

Interested in presenting about your own research experiences? Contact Daniel Payne at

Venue & Address: 
OCAD U Library's Learning Zone, 113 McCaul Street, Level 1. Also accessible from 122 St. Patrick Street
416-977-6000 ext. 217
Introducing the OCADU Inclusive  Design Research Centre (IDRC) with  designer Cheryl Li and software  developer Alan Harnum

OCAD Alumnus wins prestigious Waterloo pitch competition!

CEO, Alwar Pillai
Thursday, September 13, 2018


 Accessibility startup Fable Tech Labs wins $75k in female founders pitch competition

OCAD U alumnus, Alwar Pillai, pitched Fable Tech Labs to win first prize, $75,000, at the Waterloo-based Fierce Founders pitch competition

Fable is an accessibility platform that companies use to engage people with disabilities in user-testing.

The Fierce Founders Bootcamp is Canada’s leading pitch competition for female founders, hosted each year by Communitech in Waterloo.


 September 12, 2018 — Fable Tech Labs wins $75,000 to grow online platform that helps companies engage people with disabilities in research and user testing.

Alwar Pillai’s winning pitch showcased Fable as a social enterprise, providing companies with a high quality offering while also creating flexible employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Each year, Communitech hosts the female targetted Fierce Founders Bootcamp, which ends with a pitch competition and $100,000 in prizes.

Fable, a young Toronto-based startup, is a member of Imagination Catalyst, OCAD U’s business accelerator. Alwar is a graduate of OCAD U’s Masters of Inclusive Design program, where she focused her energy on co-designing technology interfaces with the aging population.

As a newcomer to Canada, Alwar describes the entrepreneurial spirit in Canada to be palpable. “It’s really special that programs in Canada empower people to solve problems. Imagination Catalyst and Fierce Founders are giving us the tools and the time we need to grow into something big!”

The company was founded in April of 2018 and has been gaining traction quickly. As a social enterprise, Fable provides flexible employment for people with disabilities while offering an essential service to companies that are required to comply with digital accessibility standards.

Fable Tech Labs