Skip to content
July 17th, 2013

IDI Highlighted in CFM&D Article

The Inclusive Design Institute (IDI) was recently featured in an article in the Canadian Facility Managment & Design (CFM&D) newsletter (part of the REMI Network, the Real Estate Management Industry news). The article lauded the IDI as a generative hub of applied research in accessibility in Ontario:

July 4th, 2013

IN Series presents: Hack! Toys for Accessibility – Workshop

This workshop will teach you to adapt battery-operated toys to make them more accessible for children with disabilities. Through hands-on activities, you will learn to solder and modify simple electronics.
people sitting around a large black workshop table, hacking toys

What is Switch Accessibility?

Playing with “off-the-shelf” toys is not possible for many children with physical disabilities. However, if a child can use their feet, arm, mouth, head or a part of their body consistently, then it is possible to add a switch to make the toy accessible without affecting the function – as the existing button will still operate as it was originally intended.

Everyone is welcome to this fun workshop including: parent(s), guardians, relatives and family friends; occupational, physical, music and recreational therapists; speech language pathologists; makers and tinkerers. Children under 16 are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult.

Date: Saturday July 27, 2013.

Time: 11am – 12:30pm. Refreshments provided.

Location: Participatory Inclusive Design Lab, Inclusive Design Institute, Room 4904, OCAD University, 49 McCaul Street, Toronto, Ontario.

Cost: $25.00 per kit (individuals or groups are welcome)

Facilitator: Jorge Silva, Inclusive Technology Developer at the Inclusive Design Research Center; Sessional Instructor, Faculty of Liberal Arts, OCAD University.

In this workshop registrants will learn and be able to:

  • Identify areas on the body that an individual with a physical disability can use to access an ability switch.
  • Describe features of a toy that allow for switch accessibility.
  • Identify components required for a switch to work.
  • Open and understand the wiring of a toy from battery to switches to the activation of the device.
  • Modify an off-the-shelf toy and add a switch jack for accessibility.

Toys for ‘Hacking’

You may bring a toy to modify, or we will provide a donated toy. If you are bringing a toy, make sure it runs on batteries, (no AC/wall plug in toys). Toys with a simple operation such as a touch, squeeze, pull operation, e.g. a stuffed animal that makes noise when squeezed, a functional toy like a bubble maker, or remote control toys, are suitable for modification.

IN Series is a series of public presentations, which promotes discussion and engagement on a wide variety of topics about Inclusion – Disability, Accessibility, Health, Education, Culture and the Arts. IN Series is hosted by the Inclusive Design Institute (IDI) at OCAD University. The IDI is a hub of applied research that addresses the challenge of design that is inclusive of the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age, including users with disabilities, language needs and various cultural preferences. Through research, industry collaboration, education and civic engagement, the IDI fosters the goals of an innovative, creative and inclusive society.

Please contact for any accessibility needs. Those requiring attendant care are the responsibility of the registrant.


Please use the Registration Form for this event and we hope you will be able to attend.


Contact: David Pereyra, MArch, MA, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow, Inclusive Design Institute,
OCAD University, 49 McCaul Street, Toronto.
T: 416-977-6000 Ext. 4672