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Today at OCAD University, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, announced several initiatives to support youth leaders in their efforts to build a more accessible Canada. At the event, Minister Qualtrough announced that OCAD U’s Inclusive Research Design Centre (IDRC) will receive $1.7 million in funding from the Accessible Technology Program. This announcement, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, will support the Coding to Learn and Create project. Coding to Learn and Create will develop new inclusive educational coding tools that will support the participation of students with complex learning needs, and will share critically-needed teaching resources and strategies to help educators teach more inclusively. The program is led by OCAD U’s IDRC, in partnership with Bridges Canada.

As a university that values accessibility, cultural diversity and equitable global citizenship, OCAD U is proud to support the IDRC, under the direction of Dr. Jutta Treviranus. The largest centre of its kind in the world, the centre’s goal is to make sure that everyone can participate in shaping and using the systems and networks that are transforming and connecting our society.

Research Inclusive Design (INCD)
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l-r: Dr. Treviranus, Colin Clark, Associate Director, IDRC and Minister Qualtrough. Photo: Martin Iskander.
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Heather Robson, Acting Director, Research Services, Colin Clark, Associate Director, IDRC, Dr. Treviranus, Minister Qualtrough,
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The Canada School of Public Service has announced its new Digital Fellows -- among them Dr. Jutta Treviranus, Professor, Faculty of Design, OCAD University and Director and Founder of the Inclusive Design Research Centre.

The Canada School of Public Service's Digital Fellowship aims to bring together a multi-disciplinary community of leaders to help develop and steer the Digital Academy's learning programs. This will help ensure the academy's work meets the government's needs, and showcases the Government of Canada's most forward-looking projects and organizations.

Digital Fellows and the academy’s learners will be at the forefront of the public service’s adaptation to continuous disruption; in how we understand citizens’ needs and meet their rising expectations for service and engagement.

 

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Since 2001, Pat Murray has been the Inclusive Design Research Centre’s (IDRC) administrative assistant for both our SNOW project and our Vision Technology Assistive Devices Program services. More importantly, she has been the face of the IDRC to much of OCADU and many of our visitors.

 

In addition to what is official and documented, Pat has provided a large set of invaluable knowledge and skills. These are the undocumented assets not recognized in any degree, not offered in any course, or included in any job description.  Institutions are complex places with unwritten and unspoken rules, procedures, policies and etiquettes; and government programs such as the ADP can be densely confusing things. People have official and implicit roles and responsibilities. Pat is the keeper of this knowledge in the IDRC. Our move to OCADU involved the merger of two cultures. Pat took on the role of bridge and diplomat for all the fundamental functions that make a place run. She has acted as our translator of processes and navigator of institutional complexity. She is our “logistics queen.”

 

Pat accomplished things like feeding a crowd on a budget that would cover less than a handful; planning in a few weeks an event that should take years; arranging impossible to book accessibility services at a moment’s notice; and single-handedly managing logistics that would generally take an entire team.

 

Pat’s retirement will leave a huge gap in our team and in our community. Pat knows that once you are a member of our community, you are always a valued member. We wish her well in her retirement and hope to see her often in many years to come.

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