IDRC - Celebrating 25 Years

1993 - 2018

January 28, 2019

Happy 2019 - the IDRC continues to be busy with ongoing projects, new ones, and other engagement.

August 22, 2018

The IDRC has recently begun a number of new projects:

Designing Inclusive Cities (project website)
The IDRC is working with the Sidewalk Toronto team to help create accessibility and inclusion principles. Sidewalk Toronto is a joint effort between Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto to use smart technology and new construction techniques to develop a piece of land on Toronto’s eastern waterfront.

The IDRC aims to ensure that the Sidewalk Toronto team considers the wide and diverse range of people’s needs and preferences in the design and development of this piece of land. Different groups and communities are invited to participate in a co-design process it help define and envision an inclusive and accessible city.

CISL (funded by the the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs)
This project brings inclusive open education tools and knowledge from the FLOE Project to the newly-announced Center on Inclusive Software for Learning (CISL). Led by CAST, CISL will support the development of an open-source software suite, industry guidelines and supporting research to ensure K-12 students get engaging personalized learning through Open Education Resources.

Bodies in Translation (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada)
Bodies in Translation is a research project that creates collaborative partnerships between artists, arts organizations, activists, scholars, and educators. With the Canadian disability arts community, the IDRC is co-designing the project’s Knowledge Platform as well as new technologies to support inclusive artistic creation.

Platform Co-op 
In collaboration with the Platform Co-op movement (, the goal of the project is to realize the full aspirations of Platform for Economic Inclusion. Together with Trebor Scholtz, the Platform Co-op Consortium and the New School, the IDRC will be developing a Platform Co-op Development Kit with the support of several foundations. The first implementation will be focused on care: childcare, attendant care and eldercare. “The work that makes all other work possible."

The Social Justice Repair Kit (with funding from the Oak Foundation) -
The goal of this project is to

  • help youth movements and social justice initiatives to become welcoming environments for youth with learning differences
  • benefit from the advantages of inclusive design.

BIG IDeA (An Enabling Change Project with the Government of Ontario) –
BIG IDeA (Business Innovation Guide for Inclusion Design and Accessibility) brings together businesses, customers with lived experience of disability and designers to collaboratively advance accessibility innovation in Ontario and create a culture of accessibility and inclusion. We are:

  • Collecting inclusion barriers and hosting design challenges to create inclusive alternatives
  • Mapping accessibility of Ontario in our BIG IDeA mapathon
  • Recognizing accessible businesses through customer reviews, showcases and badges
  • Providing resources, training and help on inclusion and AODA compliance

Get involved, BIG IDeA is for everyone!

Our Doors are Open (An Enabling Change Project with the Government of Ontario) -
Our Doors Are Open: A Multi-Faith Welcome to Persons with Disabilities will develop good practices for inclusive community engagement by places of worship of all faiths across Ontario, and support them to achieve a culture of inclusion in services and community gatherings. Our Doors are Open will provide:

  • training-materials and resources,
  • community inclusion workshops
  • train-the-trainer seminars
  • accessibility assessments and guidance on digital communications
  • accessibility mapathon kits to help you build awareness in your congregation

February 3, 2017

We are excited to announce that the IDRC has received a grant from the Oak Foundation's Learning Differences Programme. 

With funding from Oak, the IDRC is helping leaders of social justice-related activities by and for youth around the globe authentically engage diverse learners. Youth-led social justice movements can be empowering experiences that build connection to community, self-confidence, and a more positive mindset within marginalized populations. However, social justice initiatives are not always designed to accommodate diverse learners, who are over-represented within marginalized populations. If these initiatives are designed inclusively, with the appropriate scaffolding and accessibility features, they can create a positive pivot point in the lives of youth with learning differences.

The IDRC is not only supporting inclusive design in the online tools and software these initiatives utilize, but is also actively sharing resources, ideas and frameworks that help activists and leaders understand the needs and potential of different learners. Its toolkit will be a far-reaching, open-source combination of online resources, websites, web code, exemplars, hubs and tools that will remove barriers to participation to youth social movements for youth who learn differently. 

To see the work as it is happening and to join the project, visit the Social Justice Repair Kit wiki page

November 30, 2016
On October 13-14, 2016 the DEEP - Discovery conference brought together an international community of over 100 diverse participants to discuss timely, difficult, and engaging topics.

This year’s theme was: “Our Data: Who owns it, who controls it, what can we do with it?”

DEEP 2016 welcomed the participation of four initiatives that each brought essential perspectives to the agenda, namely: international collaboration, platforms for inclusive prosperity, privacy, and life-long learning. The EU project Discovery, the SSHRC supported TIPP consortium, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner supported project on privacy and inclusion, and several open education projects all participated in DEEP 2016. Participation from each of these projects helps to ensure that conversations and plans will be acted upon and the work started at DEEP will continue well beyond the conference.