University of Toronto
Established in 1827, the University of Toronto has one of the strongest research and teaching faculties in North America, presenting top students at all levels with an intellectual environment unmatched in depth and breadth on any other Canadian campus. With more than 75,000 students across three campuses (St. George, Mississauga and Scarborough) and over 450,000 alumni active in every region of the world, U of T's influence is felt in every area of human endeavour.
Researchers and students from a wide variety of disciplines are involved with the Inclusive Design Institute at the University of Toronto. Current associated researchers include: Marlene Scardamalia (OISE), Brian Cantwell Smith (Faculty of Information), Alex Jadad (Centre for Global eHealth Innovation), Tom Chau (Bloorview Research Institute), Rod Michalko (Equity Studies), Tanya Titchkosky (Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, OISE), Alex Mihailidis (Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy), Jim Slotta (OISE), Kevin Stolarick (Martin Prosperity Institute), Richard Florida (Martin Prosperity Institute) and Ronald Baecker (TAGlab).
While IDI projects and researchers are distributed across campus and departments, the bulk of the IDI-related activities is located within the Mobile and Pervasive Computing Research Cluster at the Faculty of Information. The cluster is led by Director Matt Ratto (Faculty of Information) and Associate Directors Sara Grimes (Faculty of Information) and Rhonda McEwen (Institute of Communication, Culture and Information Technology).
Mobile and Pervasive Computing Cluster
In the age of affordable smart phones, Bluetooth enabled personal area networks, portable devices with ubiquitous Internet access, cloud computing for convenient access to files and vast storage from anywhere, smart environments enabled by things like cheap customizable sensor technology and RFID tagging, there are many innovative opportunities to provide users, including especially those who experience disabilities, with greater mobility, autonomy and independence. At the heart of this research are the complimentary goals of providing (a) the ability to access services and information in a variety of settings, activities and environments and (b) the ability to transform these environments and tools to reduce disability brought on by a mismatch with the needs of the individual. These two goals entail theoretical and applied research into four related areas: Context-aware Services and Cognition, Smart Interfaces, Participatory Material Culture, and Adaptive Games and Inclusive Play.
The ThingTank Lab is an open, community based collaborative ideation lab: a place where the exploration, experimentation, and exchange of ideas are developed towards the building of internet enabled “things”. The Lab catalyzes development and research around how our data-connected world is increasingly moving off the screen and into the everyday world of objects, buildings and activities.
This Research Project examines novel forms of cross-disciplinary and cross-sector partnerships necessary for creating world class academic research on digital media. It also intends to provide novel insight for private industry and for commercialization, as well as new venues for the innovative work of artistic and cultural organizations.