Despite a global pandemic, the 2021 Graduate class of Inclusive Design at Toronto’s Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) – Canada’s largest art, design, and media university – has united to execute a gripping virtual exhibition to communicate their Major Research Projects (MRPs).
During this unsettling and unpredictable time – a time that’s undoubtedly disrupted academic institutions and the students within them – the class came together twice a week to explore what the gallery space is, what it has been historically, and what it will look like post-pandemic.
The class drew on the seasoned insight from esteemed guest speakers from a range of fields, from medical and accessibility (for example, Canadian National Institute for the Blind and Surrey Place), to arts and culture. These guest talks and interactive post-talk discussion allowed the students to advance their own research projects, as well as collaborate on and develop the dynamic virtual exhibition.
To kick off the showcase of their work, the Inclusive Design class will host a digital opening day event on Zoom on August 9th at 1pm EST. The event will feature student designer introductions and participation in live co-design sessions. Beginning the same day, their work will be displayed on digital publishing site Pressbooks, where visitors can explore an array of projects.
Guests are invited to dig deep into everything from the future of inclusion in design to virtual reality (VR) storytelling for older adults, and VR reality for job interview training for people with ASD. It explores things like inclusive musical experiences for the deaf and hard of hearing, as well as pre-braille implementation into early education.
Though the topics are diverse, a central theme is a unique inclusive position – something that comes at a time when the topic couldn’t be more poignant.
The project titles are as follows:
- Improving Inclusion in Digital Design
- Inclusion and Access: Graphic Design for the 21st Century
- Designing Inclusive Digital Experiences
- Intergenerational Trauma and Healing through Oral History
- Unpublishing Open Educational Resources
- Co-designing and Sharing Information with Children in Healthcare
- Virtual Reality Storytelling for Older Adults
- Virtual Communities for Chinese Seniors in Social Isolation
- Virtual Reality for Job-Interview Training for People with ASD
- Pre-Braille Implementation into Early Education
- Accessible Assistive Technology Training for Blind and Partially Sighted Individuals
- Dungeons and Dragons and Neurodiversity
- Multisensory Graphic Communication for Blind and Partially Sighted (BPSI)
- Inclusive Music Experiences for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Inclusive Visual Communication for Immigrant Pregnant Women
- The Headband: Passive Protection Products to Reduce the Risk of Retinal Detachment
- The Black Aesthetic – Rethinking the Path to Purchase
ASL interpretation will be available opening day, and video captioning will be incorporated into all individual projects.