Innovative designs for accessibility competition

Illustration of an open hand holding a light bulb. Innovative Designs for Accessibility. Innovations pour l'accessibilité.

The Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) student competition challenges university students across Canada to use their creativity to develop innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions to accessibility barriers for people with disabilities. The objectives of the program are:

  • to contribute to the creation of a culture of accessibility in Canada
  • to motivate students to think about accessibility issues and to include accessibility in their creation of social and technological innovations now and in the future
  • to develop cost-effective, practical and innovative concepts, programs, initiatives or designs that address everyday accessibility issues


First place – Four prizes of $5,000
Students who finish in first place receive $5,000 and all-expenses-paid trip to showcase their project at a national conference.

Second place – Three prizes of $1,500

Third place – Three prizes of $1,000

As finalists in the IDeA student competition, all winners are invited to join the IDeA Alumni Network.

Engineering students at UBC built a custom wheelchair frame out of state of the art chromoly. This innovation allowed me to exponentially increase my speed and propelled me to new levels that I could not have imagined before.

In conversation with the 2021 winners

2019 competition winners

Nine university students and student teams were winners of the national 2019 Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) competition for their work to reduce accessibility barriers on their campuses and in their communities.

Read the announcement of the 2019 IDeA winners

Meet the winners of the 2019 IDeA competition

With the support of:

Universities Canada administers the IDeA student competition, a national program on behalf of Employment and Social Development Canada.

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Universities Canada