Competition seeks ideas to make Ontario more accessible

The Council of Ontario Universities wants undergraduate students to make the world more accessible for people with disabilities.

To encourage their ideas for inclusion, the council is hosting Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) 2013 an annual Ontario-wide competition showcasing innovative designs for accessibility in partnership with the provincial government.

IDeA is inspired by the goal of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) to make Ontario accessible to people with disabilities by 2025.

Students are encouraged to develop innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions for barriers to accessibility in our communities and vie for up to $1,500 in prizes with entries that address one or more of the five barrier categories: attitudinal, physical/architectural, information and communications, technological, and systemic/organizational.

Hilary Tyler with John Milloy, minister of community and social services, at the OCE Discovery conference in Toronto last May.

Hilary Tyler with John Milloy, minister of community and social services, at the OCE Discovery conference in Toronto last May.

Last year, Brock nursing student Hilary Tyler won third place and $500 at IDeA for her “Everybody Hurts” campaign intended to promote empathy and break down attitudinal barriers that exist for people living with mental illness.

“Brock University continues to move forward in accessibility in order to identify, prevent and remove barriers to the inclusion of persons with disabilities ” said Greg Finn, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Academic.”Faculty are strongly encouraged to bring this competition to the attention of students. We hope to see Brock continue to have a strong presence in this provincewide competition.”

Submissions must be received at Brock by April 14, 2013.

All proposals will be evaluated by the entrant’s home institution. Successful candidates go on to a second round of judging by a panel of experts. First prize wins $1,500, second prize is $1,000 and third place gets $500.

Finalists will be invited to showcase their designs to key industry, academic, and government players as well as entrepreneurs and students to pursue collaborative opportunities for innovation.

For more information about the competition, contact Finn at ext. 4528 or email, or Margaret Sanderson, University accessibility co-ordinator at ext. 5454 or

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