Design Educators Conference
posted by Bob Mills
Each year, in partnership with a different educational institution, RGD Ontario invites design educators to consider the future of creative education. The most recent Design Educators Conference, held on November 14, 2015 at George Brown College School of Design, attracted graphic designers and educators from across Ontario. The conference featured keynote speakers and presenters from Ontario and around the world, including Pier 8 Group’s own Chawana Champagne and Bob Mills, who led a session devoted to the theme of “inclusiveness”.
The topic of our presentation was “Designers with Disabilities”. As designers, we are constantly aware of the need to create marketing communications that are accessible to persons with disabilities. But what happens when the designer herself suffers from a disability? To dramatize the issue, we screened a video produced by Jeremy Curry from RealBold Media, focusing on the challenges Chawana faced when she was a student at Mohawk College. The video sparked a good conversation among the educators attending the session. There was general agreement that design instructors do make an effort to help special needs students if the student makes their teacher aware of the challenge they face. Unfortunately, the reluctance of some students to disclose the details of their disability limits the ability of instructors to accommodate them.