For immediate release.
September 18, 2013
Lieutenant Governor to launch student challengeto redesign traditional wheelchair symbol
TORONTO—The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, will join withOCAD University president Dr. Sara Diamond to officially launch
,an international student design challenge to replace the traditional wheelchair sign with a moreencompassing and inclusive symbol (or symbols) of accessibility. The announcement will take place at OCAD U’s Inclusive Design Research Centre on
Friday, September 20 at 11am
.Forty-five years after the introduction of the International Symbol of Access in 1968, the contestseeks to replace or augment the familiar wheelchair sign with a symbol inventory emphasizing themultifaceted reality of disability. This competition has a practical purpose given that
less than three per cent of persons with disabilities in Ontario use a wheelchair or electric scooter for mobility purposes.
Jointly supported by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and OCAD U, the contest will run from
September 20 to October 25
and is open to post-secondary students. An expert jury will select threefinalists whose designs will be unveiled on November 1 in the presence of Her Royal Highness theCountess of Wessex, who will then be undertaking a working visit in Ontario. The final designs will be presented to the
International Standards Organization
“So much has changed since 1968: TVs, phones, computers. But the wheelchair symbol hasstayed the same despite our evolving attitudes and understanding of accessibility. I am proud to stand behind this important initiative. I encourage young designers to show off their designs on Twitter using the hashtag
Hon. David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor
“OCAD University champions inclusivity and accessibility as core values of our design, art,and media education. I’m delighted that we can facilitate this thought-provoking challengethrough our Inclusive Design Research Centre, where an international community of opensource developers, designers, researchers, advocates, and volunteers work together to ensurethat emerging information technology and practices are designed inclusively.”
Dr. Sara Diamond, President of OCAD U
Further information on second page.