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Inclusive Design (MDes)

Offering graduate students a unique opportunity to become global leaders in the emerging field of inclusive design in information and communication technologies (ICT) and practices.

Tools from OCAD University's Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) labs. Photo by Christina Gapic.

Inclusive Design (MDes)

Inclusive Design advances accessibility, and encompasses the full range of human diversity including ability, language, culture, gender and age.  Inclusive Design recognizes that we aren’t all the same. Design must be usable, flexible, and customizable among other qualities to be truly inclusive. From policies, customer service, infrastructure, technology, buildings to everyday products—we can design so that everyone can be accommodated and included.

 

Master of Design in Inclusive Design

This program is primarily delivered through an online technology and learning system. It is the only one of its kind in Canada. We offer you the opportunity to become uniquely qualified as a global leader in the growing field of inclusive design. 

You will learn to think differently and aim to break through societal barriers to address the growing demand for access and inclusion

The program benefits from accomplished faculty engaged with multi-disciplinary research and design practices, and you will bring valuable and diverse insights from your own educational and professional experiences, to both study and research projects.

You will explore equity and access issues through the lens of design thinking, leveraged by the application of inclusive digital technologies

The program prepares graduates for doctoral programs or advanced careers in:

  • Digital Media and ICT Systems
  • Public Sector Policy and Administration
  • Design for Built Environments
  • Arts and Culture
  • Healthcare sector
  • Graphic and Communication Design.

     

Program delivery

The program accommodates the needs of working professionals and international students. The full-time two-year program includes:

  • Two-week, on-campus, residential intensives in both the first and second year of the program
  • Seminar courses delivered in a highly interactive online format throughout the year
  • A major research project in the second year of the program that will position you at the leading edge of inclusive design thinking
  • Colloquium session in second year, open to the public
  • A culminating festival and graduate symposium

You will co-create your pathway through the program with opportunities for elective courses in both the first and second year of the program

Seminar courses are delivered through both online and face-to-face sessions that support students learning both remotely and on campus. Coursework includes group projects, online discussion forums, and contribution from guest experts and leading innovators in the field of inclusive design.  Research positions and assistantships are available throughout the program as opportunities arise with the Inclusive Design Research Centre, and both private and public sector funded projects.

All courses and class materials are accessible and assistance is available for students with English as a second language, and for those experiencing other challenges for learning and coursework.

Intensive on-campus ‘residencies’, consist of two full courses, and take place in each of the two summer terms. Students are required to attend these classes and activities on campus at OCAD University in Toronto.

Program Objectives

  • You will learn the systems and methodologies to tackle equity and diversity issues facing contemporary society
  • You will graduate with advanced skills, insights and resourcefulness to lead the critical transitions and meet rising demand for inclusive design practices globally
  • You will be equipped to excel in evolving professional fields including digital media, ICT, health, education, government and other public and private sector fields
  • You will contribute to meeting legal and policy commitments for accessibility, equity, diversity and inclusion at local, national and global levels.
  • The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) has legislated an accessible Ontario, Canada by 2025 which means inclusive design is fast becoming an essential skill for every business and organization in Ontario.
  • You will be joining the practice and research communities devoted to the design systems for diversity and accessibility
  • You will be prepared for doctoral programs to further leading-edge research advancing knowledge of inclusive design across many sectors and professional fields
  • You will have access and engagement with the renowned Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) at OCAD U. This research and development centre hosts an international community of developers, designers, researchers, advocates, and volunteers working together to ensure that emerging digital and information technology and practices are designed inclusively, and equitably.

 

2015/2016 Program Overview




MDes Overview