Inclusive Design Research Centre

Ontario College of Art and Design University

OCAD U delivers specialized, discipline-based education in an interdisciplinary context, integrating studio learning with historical, critical and scientific inquiry. Curriculum has more breadth and depth than any other fine arts program in Canada. Liberal studies courses explore the theories and ideas behind art and design practice, providing historical and critical context to studio work in art and design. These courses equip students with the analytical skills they need to execute ideas within the studio. Here, students sharpen their capacity to think critically and creatively. Programs lead to a BFA or BDes, an MA, MFA or MDes. Joining the remarkable artists and designers we’ve graduated are established cultural leaders, educators, innovators, creative thinkers and strategists. OCAD U students experience a range of research contexts and methodologies via the university’s significant research arm. The Inclusive Design research Centre (IDRC) is one such meeting.

The IDRC is a research and development centre 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 mission of the IDRC is fully in line with the goals of the AODA. IDRC has been a leader in the field of inclusion since its launch as the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre in 1994 at the University of Toronto; it was founded to address the accessibility of emerging information and communication systems and practices and the role of these in promoting inclusion. It has been working on Web accessibility since the emergence of the Web and helped found the Web Accessibility Initiative of the W3C and continues to work towards inclusion and accessibility in its many projects. The IDRC is the lead organization of the Inclusive Design Institute and is recognized globally as a leading centre of expertise in the domain of accessibility and inclusive desig

The Community of Researchers and People within the Larger Community and diversity of End Users Engagement

One overarching purpose and commitment of the IDRC is to conduct inclusive participatory design involving the larger community and a diversity of end users. This implies that over 90 listed collaborating organizations. This community engagement is being organized by David Pereyra. His research is the exploration of methods in which to maximize the level of participation of users, knowing that participation is the foundation of the IDRC success.

The Three Dimensions of Inclusive Design

These dimensions guide the practice of inclusive design across many domains, including learning (Treviranus, 2018b):

  1. Design to match human uniqueness and variability within an integrated (not segregated), adaptable system (one-size-fits-one adaptability). Support each learner in understanding their own differences and how to optimize their own learning.
  2. Continuously make your processes, tools and decision systems more inclusive. Co-design with people that have difficulty with or can’t use the current systems, and regularly ask who is still missing. Engage struggling students to design with you. Recognize the learning value of mistakes.
  3. Realize that design decisions are made within a complex adaptive system. No design decision is made in isolation. Consider the nested context of the changes you are making and the potential friction points (e.g., changes to student curriculum involve changes to teacher practices, school policies, school board budgets and regulations, etc.). Strive for benefit for all


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