Province launches strategy to connect people with disabilities to employers

Monday, June 5, 2017

Ontario is launching a new strategy to connect more people with disabilities to rewarding jobs and more employers to new talent to help grow their businesses.

Access Talent: Ontario's Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities will help increase employment for people with disabilities and connect businesses to talent by:

  • Supporting the development and employment goals of students and young people, including the launch of a new pilot through the Ontario Disability Support Program to provide individualized and coordinated services and supports.
  • Engaging employers as partners and champions through an online platform that will connect businesses, people with disabilities, and the public to share advice and lessons learned.
  • Streamlining employment and training services to better meet the needs of job seekers and employers through the introduction of a new Supported Employment program at Employment Ontario.
  • Establishing the government as an accessibility leader by raising awareness and changing attitudes through public education. 
  • Increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities and connecting businesses to new talent are part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

The government is partnering with OCAD University's Inclusive Design Research Centre to deliver the BIG IDeA, a collaborative pilot program that celebrates successes and promotes innovations in accessibility. As part of the program, major tech companies—including IBM, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Apple—are helping to break down accessibility barriers in machine learning models.


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
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 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:

Refreshments provided.



$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