University students win 2018 IDeA competition with innovative solutions to accessibility barriers

October 3, 2018
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OTTAWA – Innovative university students from across Canada are being recognized for creative design thinking that can make the world a better place for people with disabilities. Fifteen students or teams have won the national Innovative Design for Accessibility (IDeA) competition for 2018.

IDeA is a national competition that motivates university students to develop innovative, practical and cost-effective solutions to accessibility barriers for people with disabilities. Students take an inclusive design approach to create solutions that make our communities more accessible. Collaborating with industry, government, and community partners, students develop valuable skills placing them in a position to excel in a prosperous, inclusive and innovative Canadian economy.

IDeA, a Universities Canada program, is part of a larger effort to advance equity, diversity and inclusion on university campuses and across Canada. The program is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada ’s Social Development Partnership Program.

The 2018 IDeA competition opened March 1st, 2018 and closed May 31st, 2018. A committee of accessibility experts chose the winners after evaluating 51 high quality submissions.

The first-place students will be presenting their projects at the Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) on October 22, 2018 by participating in a panel discussion moderated by Rita Trichur, Senior Editor at The Globe and Mail. The CIX is a must-attend event for leaders in Canada’s innovative economy, attracting 800+ industry leaders, investors and entrepreneurs of innovation-focused start-up companies from across the globe.

Meet the 2018 IDeA competition winners (video)

Finishing first, second and third in the 2018 IDeA student competition

“Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 IDeA Program competition, and to all the students who participated. Our Government is proud to support Universities Canada in this meaningful initiative. It is a great opportunity for students to be creative and practice their academic skills, and it shows how working together with people with disabilities can lead to a change in the way Canadians think about accessibility. Addressing physical, systemic and attitudinal barriers is important as we move toward a truly accessible Canada.”

– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

“Canada’s university students are contributing to society in so many ways, including by finding solutions to the world’s most challenging social problems. These students have demonstrated excellence in inclusive design thinking and proved they have the creativity and motivation needed to make our communities more accessible for persons with disabilities.”

– Paul Davidson, president, Universities Canada

About ESDC’s Social Development Partnership Program

The Social Development Partnerships Program helps improve the lives of children and families, people with disabilities and other vulnerable Canadians. The SDPP has two funding components: Disability, and Children and Families.

About Universities Canada
Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, advancing higher education, research and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians.

Media contact:

Lisa Wallace
Assistant Director, Communications
Universities Canada
[email protected]

Tagged:  Equity, diversity and inclusion, Research and innovation

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