Case Study

Client: Sidewalk Labs/OCAD University
Date: 2018

The Challenge
Co-design Deaf inclusion strategies for smart cities.

The Mission

Our non-profit arm UpSurgence Initiatives—once called Creative Amnesty— first partnered with Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf and OCAD University (under its co-designing Inclusive Cities project) to explore how to design a Deaf inclusive city as part of Sidewalk Labs’ Toronto Project.

We then invited a cross section of members of the Deaf and hearing communities to participate in identifying areas where Deaf communities face exclusion and finding solutions. To overcome impediments to communication between Deaf and hearing participants, we used a co-design approach for the day-long session. Guided by co-design sensibilities, participants were able to transcend language barriers to work together, share experiences, and develop solutions to exclusion of Deaf communities.

The Results

In addition to the co-design session, we collaborated with TakingITGlobal and Little Robot Friends to develop and deliver a coding and robotics class designed specifically for Deaf children.