Who we are

The IDRC is the nexus of a growing global community that proactively works to ensure that our digitally transformed and globally connected society is designed inclusively. We are depended upon to identify risks and catalyze opportunities for equitable inclusion when new technical systems and associated practices emerge.

What we do

The group promotes inclusion in a full complement of activities:

  • Growing inclusive design and development practices
  • Creating open source tools that others can use and contribute to
  • Teaching the theory and practice of inclusive design
  • Helping to develop policies, regulations, guidelines and standards that support inclusion
  • Providing services that support individuals in finding systems that match their needs

Our Impact

Developed international standards for accessibility

Since we began in 1994, whenever a new technology emerges, we have raised awareness of the risks and helped to leverage the opportunities for greater inclusion. We find the gaps or difficult requirements that are not addressed, and co-design building blocksand other resourcesto fill the gaps. We give these away freely so that there are no barriers to inclusive adoption and so others can take ownership and multiply the impact.

We began with the Web, helping to establish the Web Accessibility Initiative at the W3C, writing early Web accessibility guidelines, and working to make the first HTML editor accessible (HoTMeL with Softquad). Over the years our focus has included elearning tools, virtual and extended reality, mobile systems, cooperative platforms, social media, smart cities, internet of things technologies, coding practices, artificial intelligence, virtual health, financial systems and many other systems.

We work with the full range of stakeholders and decision-makers. We help government entities develop inclusive design practices, policies, and regulations (e.g., new legal frameworks). We help private companies to adopt and grow an inclusive design culture (e.g., Microsoft, Adobe). We work with justice seeking groups to understand the implications of the complex and changing socio-technical terrain. All of these activities are guided by community members who have lived experience of the barriers.