The Office of Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility (OHREA) is excited to announce the Innovative Designs for enhancing Accessibility (IDeA) student competition for the 2022-23 academic year. We are grateful to the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPiCentre) at the University of Windsor for their support of this competition.
*Prizes to be Won
- First Place - $500
- Second Place - $250
- Third Place - $150
- Fourth Place - $100
(*the prize amount will be applied to the selected entrant’s UwinCARD.)
- Contest Opens: Monday, October 17, 2022
- Contest Closes: Friday, January 27, 2023
- Judging: Thursday, February 9, 2023
About the Competition
Each year, the University of Windsor hosts a student competition to engage creative minds to develop inclusive, innovative, cost-effective and practical ideas to solve accessibility-related barriers.
This competition is a presentation demonstrating your idea. Entrants are not required to create a physical product, campaign, or device, etc… Just present your idea in the best way possible!
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 (1) or several barriers to accessibility identified by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), which are outlined below:
1. Attitudinal Barriers:
Attitudinal barriers are behaviours, perceptions, and assumptions that discriminate against persons with disabilities. These 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 policies, procedures, or practices that unfairly discriminate against individuals with a disability and can prevent these individuals from participating fully in a situation. Organizational or systemic 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:
Architectural or physical barriers are elements of buildings or outdoor spaces that create barriers to persons with disabilities. These barriers relate to elements such as the design of a building's staircase or doorway, the layout of a room, or the width of halls or sidewalks. 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 vision or a person who lip-reads to see.
4. Information or Communication Barriers:
Information or communication barriers occur when sensory disabilities, such as hearing, seeing or learning disabilities, 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 technological platform 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 communication barriers. For example, Learning Management Systems, Customer Relationship Management Systems or other websites that cannot be accessed using screen reading software or do not meet accessibility standards.