Inclusive Design Summer Intensive 2013, 2012 and 2013 student cohorts

Inclusive Design Summer Intensive 2013, 2012 and 2013 student cohorts, image by Dina Anker.

Inclusive Design (MDes)

Our Master of Design (MDes) in Inclusive Design offers graduate students a unique opportunity to become global leaders in the emerging field of inclusive design in information and communication technologies (ICT) and practices.

Inclusive Design encompasses the full range of human diversity including ability, language, culture, gender and age.

Led by an accomplished and diverse faculty, our students are urged to think differently in order to break through existing societal barriers to address the growing global demand for inclusively designed digital technologies, products and services.

Initially, our program focuses on building expertise in ICT and practices. From there, it expands to incorporate larger components of industrial and environmental design, graphic communication and relevant arts/design areas with connection to digital technologies and ICT systems.

This comprehensive curriculum prepares graduates for doctoral programs or careers across multiple sectors that engage digital media and ICT systems, including government and education, entertainment, arts, culture, health, communication design and more.

Our MDes in Inclusive Design is a full-time, low-residency, two-year program with an executive-style delivery format to accommodate the needs of working professionals and international students. It is comprises:

  • Two two-week summer residencies
  • Seminar courses delivered in a highly interactive online format throughout the year
  • A major research project
  • A culminating festival and graduate symposium


Our Master of Design in Inclusive Design has the following objectives:

  • Graduate professionals with the necessary knowledge, skills, creativity, resourcefulness and intellectual agility to lead and support the critically important transition to inclusive information and communication systems and practices globally.
  • Equip graduates to excel in a diverse and evolving professional field in the Inclusive Design of ICT with a growing labour market in work domains, including health, education, government and other public and private sectors.
  • Increase the human capacity to meet legal, policy and societal commitments to accessibility, diversity and inclusion at a local, national and global level.
  • Produce graduates who can help to address the growing global demand for inclusively designed digital technologies, products and services and the challenges faced by individuals who currently face barriers to participation in society, including barriers to meaningful economic contribution and well-being.
  • Equip graduates with a systematic understanding of knowledge regarding inclusive design of ICT systems and processes, including relevant knowledge in a wide variety of related fields and a critical awareness of current problems and new insights.
  • Develop graduates with the conceptual understanding and methodological competence in inclusive design needed to create, interpret, critically evaluate and advance knowledge in the field.
  • Prepare potential academics to participate in future doctoral programs in inclusive design, for the furthering of leading-edge research and development in this area.
  • Advance notions of design, development and research in disciplines involved in producing ICT systems and practices to be inclusive of the full range of human diversity.
  • Expand the research community and the community of practice devoted to informing and designing our IT systems for diversity and accessibility, and to fuel an economic cluster and a centre of excellence in inclusive design of ICT systems and practices.
  • Develop the OCAD University community to include students, faculty and researchers with backgrounds in computer sciences, applied sciences and other digital media and information and communication technology disciplines.

Key features

  • The program is designed to be fully accessible to students and faculty with diverse needs, including students with disabilities and students for whom English is a second language. The mode of delivery and all materials will be accessible and augmented with language supports.
  • Two on-site intensive summer sessions each year in which students will be engaged in intensive academic programming and collaborative experiences to familiarize themselves with fellow students, faculty members and researchers.
  • Innovative online courses which use highly interactive and engaging instructional design techniques. These include online collaborative group activities, discussion forums with guest experts, moderated synchronous chats, and guided online tours of both online and physical sites and examples.
  • Multidisciplinary seminars co-taught by world leaders in inclusive design and emerging information and communication technologies and practices.
  • Student engagement in successful, open source, open access international research projects addressing a rich diversity of issues and challenges related to inclusive design of ICT systems and practices.
  • A major culminating project relating to a real-world issue that both develops and demonstrates the knowledge and skills gained during the course of the program.