IDeA Competition 2018-2019

The University of Windsor is excited to announce the Innovative Designs for enhancing Accessibility (IDeA) student competition for the 2018-2019 academic year.

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This initiative is inspired by a provincial competition organized by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) and the Government of Ontario. We are seeking to challenge the creative and innovative minds of our undergraduate students to identify accessibility related-barriers and create inclusive, practical, cost-effective and unique solutions to them.

Each year, the University of Windsor hosts a student competition to engage creative minds to develop inclusive, innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions to accessibility-related barriers.

IDeA is inspired by the goal of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) to make Ontario the most accessible province by 2025. Your IDeA should address one (or several) barriers to accessibility identified by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), which are: 

1. Attitudinal Barriers

Attitudinal barriers are behaviours, perceptions, and assumptions that discriminate against persons with disabilities.  Theses barriers often emerge from a lack of understanding, which can lead people to ignore, to judge, or to have misconceptions about a person with a disability.  For example, making a person feel as though you are doing them a “special favour” by providing their accommodation, or assuming a person with a disability is inferior.

2. Organizational or Systemic Barriers

Organizational or systemic barriers are polices, procedures, or practices that unfairly discriminate against individuals with a disability and can prevent these individuals from participating fully in a situtaion. Orgainzational or systmeinc barriers are often put into place unintentionally. For example, meetings or office hours conducted in person only, not allowing individuals to access the information by phone, e-mail, or other means of communication. 

3. Architectural or Physical Barriers

Architecutrual or physcial barriers are elements of buildings or outdoor spaces that create barriers to persons with disabilites. These barriers relate to elements such as the design of a buidling's staircase or doorway, the layout of a room, or the width of halls or sidemwalks. For example, sidewalks or doorways that are too narrow for a wheelchair,  scooter or walker. Another example would be poor lighting which makes it difficult for a person with low vison or a person who lip-reads to see. 

4. Information or Communication Barriers

Information or communication barriers occur when sensory disabilites, such as hearing, seeing or learning disabilites, have not been considered. These barriers relate to both the sending and receiving of information. For example, electronic documents that are not properly formatted with appropriate colour contrast or font making them difficult or impossible for a person with a vision disability to read.

5. Technological Barriers

Technological barriers occur when a device or technologicalplatform is not accessible by its intended audience and cannot be used with an assistive device. Technology can enhance the user's experience, but it can also create unintentional barriers for some users. Technological barriers often relate to information and communicaiton barriers. For example, Learniing Management Systems, Customer Realtionship Mangement Systems or other websites that canot be accessed using screen reading software or do not meet accesilbity standards.