Uber and the OCAD Inclusive Design Institute team up to Improve Accessible Transportation in Toronto

January 7, 2016 / Toronto
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Uber is committed to providing increased mobility to all riders through the use of our app. As we work towards this goal, we’re excited to share that we’re working with the OCAD (Ontario College of Art and Design) Inclusive Design Institute to help improve accessible transportation in Toronto.

Technology is rapidly transforming the transportation industry. As we continue our efforts to increase mobility options for Torontonians with accessibility needs, OCAD will play an integral role in ensuring the voice of the community is properly heard and accounted for.

We kicked things off in November by co-hosting a 2-part consultation forum focused on improving Accessible Transportation. We brought together a wide range of community stakeholders including academic institutions like Ryerson University and OCAD, private businesses such as Dignity Transportation and Wheelchair Accessible Transit, disability-focused community not-for-profits like Spinal Cord Injury Ontario (SCI) Ontario, Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT), city representatives from Metrolinx and TTC, and end-users themselves.

Some of the commitments to come from Uber post-forum are:


A sign-language interpreter helps moderate one of the Accessible Transportation Forum breakout groups in discussion.
Sign Language Interpretation provided during one of the Accessible Transportation Forum breakout groups.

“The workshop was a highly successful opportunity for the community of people with disabilities and Uber to get to know each other better and help dispel misconceptions and possibly also fears on both ends. Designing for people who face barriers to transportation will inevitably catalyze innovations that will benefit the transportation system as a whole. A generative discussion has begun.”

– Jutta Treviranus, Director of OCAD Inclusive Design Institute

“Spinal Cord Injury Ontario’s community depends on accessible transportation services to live independently. We applaud Uber for being innovative and making efforts to offer accessible solutions within their business model. The Accessibility Forum was a great success. Lots of ideas; lots to implement, and creative solutions provided by OCAD’s Inclusive Design Program. We look forward to introducing uberWAV to our community as an accessible transportation option.” 

– Spinal Cord Injury Ontario

Finally, to finish off a busy November, we worked with OCAD to sponsor the IIDEX Hackathon as part of the National Summit of Accessibility. Participants in the Hackathon worked to solve challenges that were brought up as part of the Forum and spent 48hrs working as a team to solve and present their solutions. The solutions will be included in accessibility discussions going forward.

A Hackathon team working on their solution.
A Hackathon team working on their solution.