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Inclusive Media and Design Centre

Ryerson University

Established in 1994, the Inclusive Media and Design Centre designs, creates, and evaluates inclusive media and technology. Many of our projects focus on inclusivity in technologies for the blind and low-vision and deaf and hard of hearing individuals.

We currently employ ten undergraduate students, four master’s students, three PhD candidates, one post-doctoral fellow and three full time staff in our facility. We are located in the heart of downtown Toronto in the Ted Rogers School of Management building on 55 Dundas Street West.

Above: Photo of the CLT lab

Alternative Audio Description

Alternative audio description focuses on making the process of creating audio description inclusive from the beginning of the design process.

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Enhanced Captioning

Enhanced captioning focuses on improving upon the existing captioning standards, specifically including colour and kinetic text for television shows and movies.

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LiveDescribe is an open source amateur audio description tool that allows users to create custom audio description and upload it to the LiveDescribe wiki. The program automatically detects non-dialogue areas of the media and highlights them to indicate optimal areas for description.

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EnACT (Enhanced and Affective Captioning Tool) is an open source captioning tool that allows users to create custom kinetic captions with colors that indicate emotions.

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School of Disability Studies at Ryerson


Out From Under – Virtual, Interactive, Accessible Learning Engagement

Originally at the Royal Ontario Museum as a physical exhibit and later in Vancouver as during the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Games, “Out from Under” is the first exhibit of disability history in a major Canadian museum. By making disability history public history, the exhibit enables disabled people to claim voice and space as a cultural community. The exhibit is a collaboration of students and faculty from Ryerson’s School of Disability Studies and colleagues. Various accessibility features are provided, including ASL and captioned videos, plain language audio tours, braille, and other alternate format considerations.

‘Out from Under,’ will now take on a digital life as it evolves into a virtual, interactive, accessible learning environment. Transforming the exhibit into a digital, interactive form will advance research into virtual learning environments and provide students with training in the use of virtual reality tools. ‘Out from Under’ will be brought into ‘Second Life’ in a collaboration with Jason Nolan and his team at the EDGE Lab in Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ).

Further community involvement with ‘Out from Under’, in its physical and digital formats, will come in the form of a partnership between School of Disability Studies and Abilities Arts Festival, a Toronto-based, national organization and forum for creative and artistic excellence, bringing together professional artists, emerging artists and arts and cultural organizations and a diverse public.