Aging 2.0 #30in30in30 | Toronto Pitch Event

Monday, September 28, 2015 - 9:30pm to Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 12:30am

#30in30in30 is an initiative supported by Aging 2.0 to encourage local communities around the world to host pitch events for new innovative products and services that stand to improve the lives of older adults. We are taking part in Aging 2.0's plan to host 30 Pitch Events in 30 cities around the world in 30 days.

Agenda:
5:30 – 6:00 Drinks & Networking
6:00 – 6:15 Welcome & Aging2.0 Introduction
6:15 – 6:30 Keynote Speech (Dr. Alex Mihailidis, AGE-WELL Scientific Director)
6:30 – 6:50 Round 1: Startup Pitches (3 Minutes Each)
6:50 – 7:20 Networking5:30 – 6:00 Drinks & Networking
7:20 – 7:40 Round 2: Startup Pitches (3 Minutes Each)
7:40 – 8:00 Senior Guest Designated Q&A
8:00 – 8:30 Audience Voting, Networking, Winner Announcement & Wrap Up

HOST: Mike King, Aging2.0 Toronto Ambassador

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street The Great Hall 2nd Floor

OCAD University grads honoured with Governor General's Academic Medals

Dermot Patrick O'Brien receiving his Silver Medal from President Diamond
Doaa Khattab addressing her fellow graduates at convocation
Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 9:15pm

OCAD University’s recent convocation ceremonies included the presentation of Governor General’s Academic Medals to two Class of 2015 students. The awards are given annually to the undergraduate and graduate students who achieved the highest academic standing.

The silver medal went to Drawing & Painting student Dermot Patrick O’Brien, who maintained a thriving career in the advertising industry while studying. In the words of Natalie Waldburger, the Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Painting and Print Media, “the insights, experience and self-reflection that Dermot brings to his work and his writing are a model for artistic practice.”

Doaa Khattab – a graduate of the Inclusive Design master’s program – received the Governor General’s Gold Medal. For her research project she designed an inclusive and innovative wayfinding system in grocery stores for visually impaired shoppers. “The Inclusive Design program urged us to think differently,” Doaa says, “so that we would understand users’ needs in order to proceed with the holistic thinking, ideating and creating process.”

OCAD University students win first place at provincial competition

Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 4:30pm

Two OCAD University students have been honoured at CONNECT: EnAbling Change -- a province-wide post-secondary design competition.

  • Third-year Environmental Design student Xiaoyu Xu (Sherry Xu) won first place in the Architecture category.
  • Rickee Charbonneau, a student in the Master's of Inclusive Design program, won first place in the Industrial Design category.

CONNECT projects explore design that is accessible to the greatest number of people regardless of age or ability across all design disciplines.  

Open to all Ontario post-secondary design students, the competition called for “project ideas that remove barriers for people with disabilities and promote greater inclusion”.

The winners’ work will be on exhibit Friday, May 8, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Design Exchange, 234 Bay St., Toronto.

 

DISRUPTING/UNDOING CHALLENGES CONSTRUCTS OF DISABILITY

Gordon Waller, Interstice, the Disability Gaze, acetate sheets and Mac Mini. Photo by Christina Gapic
Spirit Synnott, These Aren't Simply Portraits, projections. Photo by Christina Gapic
Elaine Stewart, Wunderkammer, sculpture. Photo by Christina Gapic
Erin Finlay Rococco Spy (left) and Gordon Peteran, Repair a Prosthetic, sculpture (right) Photo by Christina Gapic

“The whole act of art is to be more open than the rest of the world.” Judith Snow, visual artist and social innovator

It’s fitting that disrupting/Undoing, an exhibition and salon hosted by OCAD University’s Inclusive Design Institute was held at the Open Gallery — the week of art and events held April 2-5 was collaborative effort that brought together a wide variety of artists working in different genres from across the OCAD U community. 

According to David Pereyra, postdoctoral fellow at the Inclusive Design Research Centre, disrupting/Undoing was a landmark effort towards what will become a much bigger annual event, involving more partners and collaborators from the university and beyond. Pereyra helped coordinate the exhibition/salon together with Cathy Berry, OCAD U’s Accessibility Manager, graduate students from Inclusive Design and Criticism & Curatorial Practice and other volunteers.

The exhibition and salon posed a challenge to disrupt and reframe the concept of disability, with the goal to feature a diverse aesthetic experience. Works melded artistic practice with new technologies and explored the possibilities of the human condition. Towards the end of the Open Space workshop with Judith Snow and Mike Skubic, some of the artists and participants joined together for an impromptu round table discussion. There’s no better way to capture the full impact of this talk than in the artists’ own words:

“Inclusive design benefits everyone. One of our themes is that we’re all in this together — we need to change things so that we use creative tools to include everyone from the outset, not just add things later.” Jan Derbyshire.

“I like the concept of inclusive design but also open design, anyone can come in and out, it doesn’t matter what physical body they inhabit.” Elaine Stewart

 “Disability doesn’t have to be so scary, it can be engaging and thought provoking. We’re all involved in so many communities and the possibilities are like ripples, having the opportunity to engage with other artists, technology and knowledge.” Spirit Synott

“My goal was to figure out answers to questions about how to keep ourselves open and vulnerable. The theme that emerged from my workshop was forgiveness, acceptance and embracing fears that are a part of our human existence.” Sarah Crosskey

“Disability affects everything, but not everything is about disability. I don’t think there is any such thing as disability. If a car is disabled, it doesn’t function — you can’t drive it on the highway, but for a person that’s not true. No matter how odd or unusual we are, we still function as people.” Judith Snow

Learn more:
disrupting/Undoing 
Inclusive Design Institute

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

OCAD U to offer Master of Design in Inclusive Design; Graduate Program in Digital Futures

Monday, January 31, 2011 - 8:15pm

(Toronto — January 31, 2011) OCAD University (OCAD U) is now accepting applications for two new graduate programs: a Master of Design (MDes) in Inclusive Design* and a Graduate Program in Digital Futures (Graduate Diploma and MA, MDes, MFA)*. Applications for the 2011/2012 term will be accepted until Monday, May 2, 2011.

“These unique new programs address the Canadian digital economy’s ever-increasing demand for artists, designers, innovators and leaders in the fields of inclusive design, digital media and new technologies,” explained Dr. Helmut Reichenbächer, Associate Vice-President, Research and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at OCAD U. “The MDes in Inclusive Design, the first program of its kind in Canada and one of only two in the world, builds on and benefits from the recent addition of the Inclusive Design Research Centre and the Inclusive Design Institute to our campus, led by world-renowned inclusive design expert Jutta Treviranus. It is the only program in Ontario directly building capacity needed to address Ontario's Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The Graduate Program in Digital Futures features unique partnerships with the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) Media Lab and the University of Waterloo, and builds on OCAD U's demonstrated strengths in practice and research in the fields of digital art, design and media.”

These new programs promise to produce graduates with the highly sought after skills and expertise needed in Canada’s creative and digital economies and present a significant contribution to further diversify Ontario’s expanding postsecondary education system.

Master of Design in Inclusive Design

What is Inclusive Design?
Inclusive Design is design that is inclusive of the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age and other forms of human difference.

Inclusive design is important because:

  • An aging demographic with associated dramatic rise in incidence of disabilities makes accessibility an increasing concern;
  • Access to online services can no longer be considered optional — it is an essential part of daily life;
  • Exclusion and inequality have broad and devastating social and economic impacts for society as a whole, not only the excluded.

The focus of the MDes in Inclusive Design will be on building inclusive design expertise in digital media and information and communication technologies (ICT) and practices. This innovative program responds to the increasing demand for designers and developers with specialized knowledge in inclusive design principles and practices, and will produce graduates with the capacity to form, lead and sustain a much-needed community of expertise on digital inclusion, spanning multiple sectors. Graduates will apply their studies in all sectors that engage digital media and ICT systems, including government and education sectors, digital industries, entertainment, arts, culture, health, communication design, wayfinding, architectural systems design, mobile and interactive industries and many others.

The MDes in Inclusive Design is a low residency, two-year program with an executive style delivery format to accommodate the needs of working professionals and international students.

Key Features of the MDes in Inclusive Design:

  • The program is designed to be fully accessible to students and faculty with diverse needs, including students with disabilities and students for whom English is a second language.
  • Two on-site intensive summer sessions each year in which students will be engaged in intensive academic programming and collaborative experiences to familiarize them with fellow students, faculty members and researchers.
  • Innovative, engaging and interactive online courses which use highly interactive and engaging instructional design techniques. These include online collaborative group activities, discussion forums with guest experts, moderated synchronous chats, and guided online tours of both online and physical sites and examples.
  • Multidisciplinary seminars co-taught by world leaders in inclusive design and emerging information and communication technologies and practices.
  • Student engagement in successful, open source, open access international research projects addressing a rich diversity of issues and challenges related to inclusive design of ICT systems and practices.
  • A major culminating project relating to a real world issue that both develops and demonstrates the knowledge and skills gained during the course of the program.

Graduate Program in Digital Futures (MA, MDes, MFA and Diploma)

The Graduate Program in Digital Futures is a unique, practice-based program situated within the Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD U, a set of new cross-disciplinary programs in practice, research and innovation related to digital media and its emergent developments. The program builds on OCAD U's historic strengths in practice and research in art, design and media, providing ongoing innovation and foresight in curriculum, teaching, and creative digital practice.

Graduates of the program will contribute to the development and application of new knowledge in creative digital technology practices, content, and experiences, providing insights into human needs and desires in a technologically dependent world.

The Graduate Program in Digital Futures offers both a part-time Graduate Diploma and a full-time Master’s (MA, MFA or MDes). The Graduate Diploma is a course-based program offered on a part-time basis in order to provide flexible study options for working professionals and practitioners. The Master’s is a full-time practice-based program offered over five semesters.

Key Features of the Graduate Program in Digital Futures:

  • A partnership with the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) Media Lab, whose established, critically-acclaimed post-graduate residency in digital media production will be integrated into both the degree and diploma programs. This unique collaboration will afford students the opportunity to engage in an Intensive Project/Prototyping Spring Institute held at the MaRS Discovery District;
  • A cohort-based Digital Media Immersion that kicks off the program with a full two-week grounding in digital futures, providing an introduction to the program and a foundation in the current state of digital practices, along with team building and leadership skills development in partnership with the University of Waterloo;
  • The opportunity for industry and research internships, a term placement with a local, national or international industrial media/technology industry or business. The internship provides students with industry and research opportunities to integrate the knowledge learned in first-year seminars with real world digital media business and production;
  • Participation in the annual Digital Media Producer-in-Residence program which brings internationally renowned practitioners in digital technologies and digital media production to OCAD U and the CFC Media Lab for a one-week residency during which they conduct seminars, and work directly with students on their projects;
  • International exchange opportunities with partner institutions in Europe, India, and South America.

Application information, program requirements and a list of faculty members for each program may be found on OCAD U’s Graduate Studies web pages at www.ocad.ca/gradstudies.

*pending approval from the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies.

 

Background Information:

About the Inclusive Design Research Centre and the Inclusive Design Institute
The Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) is the reconstitution of the 16 year-old Adaptive Technology Resource Centre (ATRC) of the University of Toronto at OCAD U. The IDRC, continuing the important international role of the ATRC, conducts multi-disciplinary, multi-sector research and development on the inclusive design of emerging information and communication systems and practices — or designing for diversity. IDRC research addresses the full lifecycle of information and communication systems and practices — from design to implementation to evaluation and policy. The IDRC research community values collaboration, broad participation, transparency, and openness. The Inclusive Design Institute (IDI) is a regional research hub, led by Jutta Treviranus, funded by both the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation with 8 postsecondary institutions as core partners, namely OCAD U, University of Toronto, Ryerson University, York University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Sheridan, George Brown College and Seneca College. The IDI shares the research focus of the IDRC. Both IDI and IDRC research projects engage a range of collaborating organizations from around the world.

About the Canadian Film Centre (CFC)
The Canadian Film Centre is Canada’s largest institution for advanced training in film, television and new media. A charitable not-for-profit organization, CFC is committed to promoting and investing in Canada’s diverse talent; providing exhibition, financial and distribution opportunities for top creative content leaders from coast to coast. CFC makes a significant cultural and economic contribution to Canada by launching the country’s most creative ideas and voices in film, television and new media to the world. CFC Media Lab is Canada’s acclaimed institute for digital media that provides a unique training, research and production think-tank environment for emerging new media artists, content developers and practitioners. CFC Media Lab has been experimenting with the interactive narrative form since 1997 and in the past ten years, have produced over 60 prototypes ranging from web-based interactive documentaries to “shuffle videos” — the creation of randomly generated movies on the iPod. For more information please visit www.cfccreates.com.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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Download this release as a PDF file.

For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

New Digital Futures undergraduate major launches next fall at OCAD University

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 5:15pm

(Toronto—October 25, 2011) A new digital media undergraduate program allowing students to specialize in areas such as business innovation, data visualization, health and wellness and gaming is coming to OCAD University next fall.

The Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA) undergraduate program links digital technology and innovation with Design and Art studio practice. Students will graduate with either a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or a Bachelor of Design (BDes), with a specialization in digital media and related technologies. Prospective students can apply for the program now through the Ontario Universities Application Centre for the 2012/13 academic year.

"The Digital Futures undergraduate program links multiple studio-based digital media concentrations in the Faculty of Art and Faculty of Design, augmenting our existing curriculum with new courses that reflect the expertise and skills of the university's new faculty engaged in research and digital practice," explained OCAD University President, Dr. Sara Diamond. "With the launch of our Digital Futures Masters program in September 2011, and our Digital Futures research program, this new undergraduate major represents the full realization of the Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University."

DF:TIDA students are able to specialize in one of five areas:

  • Physical Computing
  • Games
  • Data Visualisation
  • Inclusive Design
  • Business

Students in the DF:TIDA program will acquire skills in computation, physical computing, data visualization, screen-based media, gaming, and business, and will be well-positioned to work across the digital media sector from either art, design or critical perspectives.

BACKGROUND:

Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA)
A compete program overview and course guide is available on the OCAD University website.

The Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University
The launch of OCAD University's Digital Futures Initiative in May of 2007 was made possible through a transformative $2 million annual investment by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities that OCAD University leveraged with support from industrial partners and other provincial and federal ministries.

The Digital Futures Initiative supports student learners to become entrepreneurial and research leaders in a future world of ubiquitous digital technology and communication, as well as enabling them to master contemporary digital skills. Drawing on faculty from across the university and working in collaboration with a broad range of Canadian and international private and public sector partners, the Digital Futures Initiative (DFI) is a set of new cross-disciplinary programs, research, and innovation activities. Minors, a major, a suite of graduate programs and continuing education offerings are providing learning opportunities in digital art, media and design, and ICT, linking this knowledge to emerging technologies with applications in fields such as art/design and science, sustainability, health and wellness, accessibility, diversity, and global innovation and business development.

Key milestones have included:

  • Enhancement and modernization of OCAD University's curriculum: minors, a major and a suite of graduate programs are now offered:
    Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA) - BFA, BDes;
    Master's in Inclusive Design (MDes); and
    Digital Futures Graduate program (MA, MDes, MFA, Graduate Diploma);
  • Hiring of six new faculty who are digital leaders and additional hiring of digital experts in other program areas;
  • OCAD University has established has launched successful research and commercialization partnerships, leveraging funding from MTCU (including an additional 7.5 in capital funding) and MRI (9 million) to create the Institute for Digital Media Research and Innovation;
  • Roll-out of Digital Infrastructure across the campus and integration of Digital Tools and teaching methods into all aspects of curriculum;
  • Launch of the Centre for Innovation in Arts & Design Education (CIADE);
  • The multi-institutional/multi-industry Inclusive Design Institute led by OCAD U's Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) of 25 researchers;
  • Launch of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC), a public-private not-for-profit consortium that brings together students and faculty from OCAD U and other universities and colleges with industry leaders in the quest for groundbreaking digital mobile applications.
  • Acquisition of digital resources for teaching and learning
  • Acceleration of online and blended learning.

 

OCAD University (OCAD U): 135 Years of Imagination
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

- 30 -

Download this release as a PDF file.

For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327) 

New Digital Futures undergraduate major launches next fall at OCAD University

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 4:00am

(Toronto—October 25, 2011) A new digital media undergraduate program allowing students to specialize in areas such as business innovation, data visualization, health and wellness and gaming is coming to OCAD University next fall.

The Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA) undergraduate program links digital technology and innovation with Design and Art studio practice. Students will graduate with either a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or a Bachelor of Design (BDes), with a specialization in digital media and related technologies. Prospective students can apply for the program now through the Ontario Universities Application Centre for the 2012/13 academic year.

"The Digital Futures undergraduate program links multiple studio-based digital media concentrations in the Faculty of Art and Faculty of Design, augmenting our existing curriculum with new courses that reflect the expertise and skills of the university's new faculty engaged in research and digital practice," explained OCAD University President, Dr. Sara Diamond. "With the launch of our Digital Futures Masters program in September 2011, and our Digital Futures research program, this new undergraduate major represents the full realization of the Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University."

DF:TIDA students are able to specialize in one of five areas:

  • Physical Computing
  • Games
  • Data Visualisation
  • Inclusive Design
  • Business

Students in the DF:TIDA program will acquire skills in computation, physical computing, data visualization, screen-based media, gaming, and business, and will be well-positioned to work across the digital media sector from either art, design or critical perspectives.

BACKGROUND:

Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA)
A compete program overview and course guide is available on the OCAD University website.

The Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University
The launch of OCAD University's Digital Futures Initiative in May of 2007 was made possible through a transformative $2 million annual investment by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities that OCAD University leveraged with support from industrial partners and other provincial and federal ministries.

The Digital Futures Initiative supports student learners to become entrepreneurial and research leaders in a future world of ubiquitous digital technology and communication, as well as enabling them to master contemporary digital skills. Drawing on faculty from across the university and working in collaboration with a broad range of Canadian and international private and public sector partners, the Digital Futures Initiative (DFI) is a set of new cross-disciplinary programs, research, and innovation activities. Minors, a major, a suite of graduate programs and continuing education offerings are providing learning opportunities in digital art, media and design, and ICT, linking this knowledge to emerging technologies with applications in fields such as art/design and science, sustainability, health and wellness, accessibility, diversity, and global innovation and business development.

Key milestones have included:

  • Enhancement and modernization of OCAD University's curriculum: minors, a major and a suite of graduate programs are now offered:
    Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA) - BFA, BDes;
    Master's in Inclusive Design (MDes); and
    Digital Futures Graduate program (MA, MDes, MFA, Graduate Diploma);
  • Hiring of six new faculty who are digital leaders and additional hiring of digital experts in other program areas;
  • OCAD University has established has launched successful research and commercialization partnerships, leveraging funding from MTCU (including an additional 7.5 in capital funding) and MRI (9 million) to create the Institute for Digital Media Research and Innovation;
  • Roll-out of Digital Infrastructure across the campus and integration of Digital Tools and teaching methods into all aspects of curriculum;
  • Launch of the Centre for Innovation in Arts & Design Education (CIADE);
  • The multi-institutional/multi-industry Inclusive Design Institute led by OCAD U's Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) of 25 researchers;
  • Launch of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC), a public-private not-for-profit consortium that brings together students and faculty from OCAD U and other universities and colleges with industry leaders in the quest for groundbreaking digital mobile applications.
  • Acquisition of digital resources for teaching and learning
  • Acceleration of online and blended learning.

 

OCAD University (OCAD U): 135 Years of Imagination
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

- 30 -

Download this release as a PDF file.

For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327) 

OCAD U's Faculty of Design Speaker Series

Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 5:00am

Judith Heumann:
"Changing Society: The Power of Inclusive Thinking"
Thursday, January 19, 6:30 p.m.

(Toronto—December 15, 2011) OCAD University is pleased to welcome Judith Heumann, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State, who will give her free public talk "Changing Society: The Power of Inclusive Thinking" as part of the Faculty of Design speaker series.

Judith Heumann is an internationally recognized leader in the disability community and a lifelong civil rights advocate for disadvantaged people. She has been appointed Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State. She previously served as the Director for the Department on Disability Services for the District of Columbia, where she was responsible for the Developmental Disability Administration and the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

From June 2002-2006, Heumann served as the World Bank's first Adviser on Disability and Development. In this position, Heumann led the World Bank's disability work to expand the Bank's knowledge and capability to work with governments and civil society on including disability in the Bank discussions with client countries; its country-based analytical work; and support for improving policies, programs, and projects that allow disabled people around the world to live and work in the economic and social mainstream of their communities. She was Lead Consultant to the Global Partnership for Disability and Development.

From 1993 to 2001, Heumann served in the Clinton Administration as the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the Department of Education. Heumann was responsible for the implementation of legislation at the national level for programs in special education, disability research, vocational rehabilitation and independent living, serving more than 8 million youth and adults with disabilities.

For more than 30 years, Heumann has been involved on the international front working with disabled people's organizations and governments around the world to advance the human rights of disabled people. She represented Education Secretary, Richard Riley, at the 1995 International Congress on Disability in Mexico City. She was a US delegate to the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. She has been active with Disabled Peoples' International, Rehabilitation International and numerous Independent Living Centers throughout the world. She co-founded the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley California and the World Institute on Disability in Oakland California.

Heumann graduated from Long Island University in 1969 and received her Masters in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975. She has received numerous awards including being the first recipient of the Henry B. Betts Award in recognition of efforts to significantly improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. She has received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Long Island University in Brooklyn, an Honorary Doctorate of Public Administration from the University of Illinois, Champaign, and an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of Toledo.

The Faculty of Design Speaker Series is generously supported by TD Bank Group.

Heumann's talk is presented in conjunction with OCAD University's annual Design Competition. All are welcome to attend. Please register for tickets (free).

OCAD University - 135 Years of Imagination
Auditorium, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto
416-977-6000  |  http://www.ocadu.ca/

OCAD University (OCAD U): 135 Years of Imagination
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

- 30 -

For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

International thought leaders on digital inclusion to converge at OCAD University

Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 4:00am

Designing Enabling Economies and Policies conference to feature talks by Don Tapscott and Kristyn Wong-Tam

(Toronto—May 10, 2012) OCAD University will host Designing Enabling Economies and Policies (DEEP), May 24 to 25, a program of the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict).

The conference brings together the world's most influential digital inclusion thinkers, information and communications technology designers, persons with disabilities advocates and policy makers to identify levers and innovative new strategies for digital inclusion that go beyond current approaches. G3ict is an Advocacy Initiative of the UN GAID, the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development.

Don Tapscott, one of the world's leading authorities on innovation, media and the economic and social impact of technology, is a key speaker at DEEP. Also among the line up is diversity activist and Toronto City Councillor for Toronto Centre-Rosedale, Kristyn Wong-Tam.

In addition, The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable David C. Onley will host participants for a reception in his suite at Queen's Park.

Designed to foster substantive, in-depth discussion among decision makers promoting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in their respective countries, DEEP will analyze success factors and causes of failures of e-accessibility policies and programs. Areas of focus will include:

  • Accessible Education
  • Workplace Accommodation
  • Broadcasting and New Media
  • Telecommunications
  • Contents and Services

"Accessibility and inclusion are not only rights to be protected, but catalysts for new ideas," said conference co-convenor Jutta Treviranus, Director of OCAD University's Inclusive Design Research Centre, and of the Inclusive Design Institute. "DEEP is an opportunity for policy makers, advocates, service providers and academia to exchange ideas for digital inclusion for persons with disabilities. Digital inclusion leads to better design and robust business strategies, which in turn become economic drivers with ubiquitous social benefits."

"The DEEP conference will definitely help advance the understanding of success factors and roadblocks involved in implementing digital accessibility," said Axel Leblois, Executive Director, G3ict. "We are particularly pleased that leading disability advocates and private sector participants will be involved in brainstorming sessions alongside government representatives.  DEEP 2012 will also be a unique opportunity for international participants to learn more about the pioneering Canadian and Ontario experiences. We are very grateful to OCAD University, the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to make this international multi-stakeholder inquiry possible."

Plenary sessions will explore levers for change such as technological solutions; economic levers, demographics and market forces; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and policy; education and training on accessibility and societal trends.

For the complete agenda, visit the Designing Enabling Economies and Policies conference website at deep2012.idrc.ocad.ca.

Held in conjunction with the DEEP conference, OCAD U will celebrate the official opening of the Inclusive Design Institute (IDI), a research community and regional research hub based at OCAD University that focuses on the inclusive design of emerging information and communication systems and practices. The IDI is funded by the Government of Canada through the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Research Fund Research Infrastructure program with eight postsecondary institutions as core partners, namely OCAD U, University of Toronto, Ryerson University, York University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Sheridan College, George Brown College and Seneca College.

OCAD University and G3ict acknowledge the generous support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Ontario Public Service, Research in Motion Limited, Accessible Media Inc. and IBM Canada. 

BACKGROUND:

Don Tapscott
Don Tapscott has written or co-written 14 widely read books including most recently Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet (Revised Paperback, May 2012). His 1992 bestseller Paradigm Shift helped coin a seminal management concept and his 1995 hit The Digital Economy changed thinking around the world about the transformational nature of the Internet. Two years later he defined the Net Generation and the "digital divide" in Growing Up Digital. His 2000 work, Digital Capital, introduced seminal ideas like "the business web" and was described by BusinessWeek as "pure enlightenment." Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything was the best-selling management book in the United States in 2007 and translated into over 25 languages.

The Economist called Macrowikinomics a "Schumpeterian story of creative destruction" and the Huffington Post said the book is "nothing less than a game plan to fix a broken world." Over 30 years he has introduced many ground-breaking concepts that are part of contemporary understanding.

In 2011, Tapscott was re-named to the Thinkers50 Definitive List of the Top 50 Business Thinkers in the World, earning the ninth spot on the list. He was also a runner up as the World's Leading Thinker on Globalization and Macrowikinomics was runner up for The Best Business Book of the Last Two Years. He is a member of World Economic Forum, and an Adjunct Professor of Management for the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. It is hard to imagine anyone who has been more prolific, profound and influential in explaining the digital revolution and its impact on the world.

Kristyn Wong-Tam
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has an extensive career investing in the City of Toronto through both the public and private sectors. Her contributions have led to the development and support of numerous social planning programs, business ventures, art endeavours and successful community initiatives.

As a tireless community advocate, Councillor Wong-Tam has championed for the expansion of green public spaces, farmers' markets, community gardens including improvements to parks and ravines. She has lead efforts to defend the rights of tenants to obtain affordable and decent standards of rental housing and helped create a neighbourhood association to preserve and protect heritage buildings and historical landscapes in the ward.

Councillor Wong-Tam has a distinguished track record of human rights advocacy and was a co-founder of Asian Canadians For Equal Marriage, and the past president of the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter that successfully lobbied the federal government for the head tax apology and redress.

Prior to being elected to City Council in 2010, Councillor Wong-Tam was an accomplished real estate professional and supporter of the arts. She has curated art installations for Scotiabank's Nuit Blanche and is the principal of a Toronto-based contemporary fine art gallery. As a founding member of the Church-Wellesley Village Business Improvement Association, her business advocacy and entrepreneurship focusing on urban economic development, earned her a seat on the Mayor David Miller's Economic Competitiveness Advisory Committee which produced the Agenda for Prosperity in 2008.

Councillor Wong-Tam continues to be a champion for sustainable living and environmental health and plays a vital role in ensuring the vibrancy of our city and its economic and social development. In addition to her city appointments to numerous city boards and agencies, she is also a board member of the University of Toronto Art Centre and the Business Chair at the Toronto Workforce Innovation Group (previously known as the Toronto Training Board).

Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict)
G3ict (http://www.g3ict.org/) is an Advocacy Initiative of the UN GAID, the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, launched in December 2006 in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN DESA.  Its mission is to facilitate and support the implementation of the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the accessibility of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and assistive technologies. G3ict relies on an international network of ICT accessibility experts to develop and promote good practices, technical resources and benchmarks for ICT accessibility advocates around the world.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada's "university of imagination." The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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Download this release as a PDF document.

Media are invited to attend. To RSVP or for more information, please contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

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