Machine Learning: Bias In, Bias Out

We Count Logo
Wednesday, July 8, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

This is a free Webinar brought to you as part of the We Count Digging DEEPer series.  Join Dr. Toon Calders (University of Antwerp) as he shares his work on bias in machine learning. Artificial intelligence is more and more responsible for decisions that have a huge impact on our lives. But predictions made using data mining and algorithms can affect population subgroups differently. Academic researchers and journalists have shown that decisions taken by predictive algorithms sometimes lead to biased outcomes, reproducing inequalities already present in society. Is it possible to make a fairness-aware data mining process? Are algorithms biased because people are too? Or is it how machine learning works at the most fundamental level?

Venue & Address: 
ZOOM Webinar
Digging DEEPer Webinar. Machine Learning Discrimination: Bias in, bias out. Special guest speaker; Dr. Toon Calders

VSMM 2019- into the future of XR and Exponential Inclusive Tech

VSMM 2019: into the future of XR and Exponential Inclusive Tech
Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 1:30pm to 6:30pm

The International Society for Virtual Systems and Multimedia is a unique cross-disciplinary organization for the exchange of cutting edge research in new media and virtual and augmented reality applied to everything from art to architecture, medicine to engineering, and archaeology to cultural heritage. One of the oldest and most prestigious VR and multimedia conference,  proceedings are published with the IEEE.

This year we are holding 3 local VSMM events in Toronto, Dublin and Berlin.
Come learn about virtual reality, virtual worlds, accessibility in VR-AR and exponential technologies, and how inclusive design can be integrated for a diverse and inclusive virtual (and actual) reality.

Stay for discussions by leaders in the field. Network and find out how to engage, enrol in XR bootcamps with the SMARTlab INCLUDE XR Impact Labs (in partnership with VR First) including one coming soon to OCADU.

VSMM Toronto 2019 Agenda, 17 October

1:30-2:00 Black Box Theatre, 49 McCaul Street: Presentation
(note, seating in the black box is limited to the first 40 participants)

1:30        Colin Clark (Assistant Director, IDRC) Welcome from OCAD University
1:40        Dr Lynne Heller on The Technological Sublime

2:00-3:00 Open Gallery, M9 McCaul Street: Technology displays, Networking and refreshments

A chance for students to sign up to work with VSMM 2020 and opportunity to learn more about free certified Facebook training in Innovation, AI, Web, Social Media and Cyersecurity training with SMARTlab, and about a few new scholarships forthcoming in the SMARTlab global practice-based PhD in Inclusive Design and Creative Technology Innovation

3:00 -5:00 Black Box Theatre, 49 McCaul Street: Presentations
(note, seating in the black box is limited to the first 40 participants)

3:00        Prof Hal Thwaites (Previous President of VSMM- Sunway University & SMARTlab) Keynote on the Past, Present and Potential Future of VSMM  
3:30        Prof Martha Ladly and team: Decoding Origins: Approaching African Identities Through Data Collection and Visualisation
4:00        Dr Nina Czegledy (Leonardo) on Reporting on Disparity: Two events Oceans apart in Toronto and New Plymouth (New Zealand)
4:20        Dr Doreen Balabanoff (OCADU) on The Global Birth Environment Design Network: towards a virtual platform that can be a global resource for better birth environment design
4:45        Mohsen Mahjoobnia (OCADU + SMARTlab PhD candidate) on VR to provide access to nature to address isolation and mental health issues/accessibility issues in XR
5:10        Prof Lizbeth Goodman (Director SMARTlab, VSMM Vice President): VSMM 2019 Overview- events in 2019 + Introducing INCLUDE, Academy of the Future, and Be-Earth Experience (with Ylva Hansdotter and the UN Igo for Sustainability)
5:40        Prof Alonzo Addison (UC Berkeley & SMARTlab, VSMM President): Generational Planning and Publication: VSMM and Digital Cultural Heritage- next steps  
6pm       Prof Jutta Treviranus (Director, IDRC at OCADU, DEEP Chair & SMARTlab)-  Final wrap-up discussion, WELCOME to DEEP) & Last chance to sign up for VSMM, publications committee, scholarship and training opportunities etc.

6:30pm End & chance to wander with the team in the gorgeous city of Toronto!

Venue & Address: 
49 McCaul Street

Register now for DEEP 2019 (Designing Enabling Economies and Policies), Oct. 18th

DEEP 2019, Designing Enabling Economies and Policies
Friday, September 20, 2019 - 9:00am to Friday, October 18, 2019 - 6:00pm

This year the one-day DEEP event will be the beginning of a series of challenge workshops that extend throughout the year. These workshops will address challenges that are important to all of us, but that don’t receive enough attention or investment because they are too complex or because the people that are most affected don’t have enough influence or power.

We also hope you will get involved in many new and ongoing inclusive design projects. Our new projects are Code Learn Create and Project We Count. Code Learn Create is building inclusive educational coding tools, so that everyone can participate in this “new literacy”. We Count makes sure that people are not excluded from the data economy, and that data-based decisions are not biased against minorities, diversity and complexity. 


We are gathering our international partners to help us plan the next iteration of our Social Justice Repair KitFLOE and Platform Co-op Development Kit projects. 


The topics we will tackle are tough, but also personally relevant to everyone attending. Among the themes running through our discussions will be: 

  • ownership and agency in a data-driven world, 
  • how truth and value are determined, 
  • reversing rising financial disparity and political polarization, and 
  • the relationship between inclusion and sustainability.

We also intend to have fun and celebrate the opportunity to connect with old and new friends.


Venue & Address: 
Location: Cooper Koo YMCA 461 Cherry Street Toronto, ON M5A 0H7
416-977-6000 x3967
Free to register but please tell us if your plans change.

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

Dr. David Pereyra at Toronto Parliament of the World's Religions 2018 for Our Doors Are Op

Our Doors Are Open logo
Friday, November 2, 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

The Open Your Doors “community-inclusion” workshop is designed specifically to help individual faith-communities. It enables communities to develop what we call “inclusive thinking,” reach out to their members with disabilities, engage those members in full participation, discuss ways to create accessible media and communications, which will allow them to assess the physical and social inclusivity of a faith-community.

Venue & Address: 
Room 601 Parliament of the World's Religions Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building
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Our Doors Are Open booth at Parliament of the World's Religions 2018

Our Doors Are Open logo
Thursday, November 1, 2018 - 10:00am to Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 6:00pm

Our Doors are Open is a project of the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD Univeristy. The goal of the project is to help faith communities better understand how to fully include people with disabilities. As part of the project activities, Our Doors Are Open will have a both at the 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions conference. Visit booth 624 at the conference or learn more about the project and how your faith community can participate at

Venue & Address: 
Booth 624 Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building

Open Your Doors: A Multifaith Seminar on Developing Accessible Congregations

Our Doors Are Open logo
Saturday, September 8, 2018 - 9:30am to 4:00pm

Seminar Features:

Speakers from multiple faiths, Inclusion Training, Workshops, Exhibitors, Lunch and Refreshments, PoWR 2018 preview

Workshops and Panels:

  • Accessible Ministry Certification
  • Children with disabilities and their families
  • Accessibility Cloud
  • Accessible Places of Worship
  • Inclusion Initiatives
  • Understanding Accessibility & Inclusion
  • Building Relationships with People with Disabilities

This seminar will help all participants learn how to encourage and enable people with disabilities and their families to participate in all aspects of ministry and outreach. Faith communities are one of the most important social and religious connections in the lives of many people with disabilities. Our Doors Are Open invites you to build together communities of worship that are accessible for all.

Venue & Address: 
Sharp Centre, OCAD University 100 McCaul Street
416-977-6000 X4672
Seminar Event Details available at
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This project is a collaboration between game:play and Super Ordinary Lab.

IN SITU is a research project in partnership with Ubisoft Toronto funded by ReFiG ( that examines the opportunities around and impact of internal and external efforts aimed at creating a diverse and inclusive work culture in the game development industry.

The primary research goal for the project is to explore the factors that create an environment and culture of diversity, inclusivity and belonging (DIB) for game developers who identify as women at Ubisoft Toronto. This pilot stage of an ongoing research collaboration has been designed to feed into and support a diversity, inclusion and belonging initiative organized around internal task forces being rolled out at Ubisoft Toronto. 

The research insights from an environmental scan and ethnographic interviews will provide context to the primary research question and will inform the development of the task forces and programmatic initiatives at Ubisoft Toronto. A secondary phase of the project will evaluate the efficacy and impact of the task force programs through ongoing developmental evaluation. 

The collaborative nature of this research is central to it’s goals, partnerships of this nature are essential to build sustainable bottom-up DIB initiatives that are well informed, understood and embedded within existing corporate structures, practices and people. 


This research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


The logo for Ubisoft Toronto
Monday, July 16, 2018 - 4:30pm
Lab Member: 
Emma Westecott
Suzanne Stein
Cheryl Hsu
Kashfia Rahman

Code4Lib North: the Ninth.

Code4Lib North logo
Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 9:00am to Friday, May 11, 2018 - 4:30pm

For up to date information on the scheduling, or to register, visit the Code4Lib North wiki

Venue & Address: 
Learning Zone, Level 1, 122 St. Patrick Street (or via 113 McCaul Street)
Free (registration limited)