SNOW Partners


Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch, Ontario Ministry of Education

The Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch (PDSB) of the Ontario Ministry of Education in partnership with students, their families, district school boards and communities across Ontario, is committed to and provides specialized schools, programs and residences for students who are Deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, deafblind or who have a severe learning disability, to develop to their full potential and succeed in school.

PDSB schools:

  • offer the Ontario curriculum at the elementary and secondary levels as well as specialised integrated programming.
    • Programming includes all areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum such as direct orientation and mobility supports and braille instruction in an inclusive, accessible environment.
  • provide individualized education in the identified areas with appropriate resources, giving students with special learning needs the opportunity to fully participate in the total school experience including, sports, music, recreational and leadership opportunities.

The PDSB Resource Services and Outreach Programs offer:

  • preschool services for children who are Deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired or deafblind and their families; and
  • teacher training and consultation services to English and French language district school boards for Deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, deafblind and students with severe learning disabilities.

The PDSB Alternate Educational Resources Ontario (AERO) department:

  • develops and provides learning materials and media in accessible formats for elementary, secondary, and postsecondary pupils with perceptual disabilities.

Please visit the Provincial and Demonstration Schools website for more information. The site is available in English, French, and American and Québécois Sign Language.

Access the PDSBs rich resources on their Programs and Services page.


TakingITGlobal (TIG)

TakingITGlobal is one of the world’s leading networks of young people learning about, engaging with, and working towards tackling global challenges. By bringing together Digital Youth Engagement, Global Education and Social Innovation programming, TIG seeks to empower youth and their allies to ensure every young person and their interest has a place to learn, grow and flourish. TIG collaborates with youth, educators, school boards, and other innovative organizations within Ontario and around the globe. TIG’s programs aim to inform, inspire, and involve youth in shaping a more inclusive, peaceful and sustainable world. TIG hosts the SNOW workshops through TakingITGlobal for Educators (TIGEd), the branch of TIG dedicated to supporting educators in utilizing technology to create transformative learning experiences for their students. TIG also partners with the Inclusive Design Research Centre to deliver the Sprout Ideas Camp and programming.

Please visit the TakingITGlobal website for more information.

OCAD University

OCAD University is the “university of the imagination.” The university was founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to the knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration, and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

Please visit the OCAD University website for more information.


Inclusive Design Research Centre

The IDRC is a research and development centre at OCAD University where an international community of open source developers, designers, researchers, advocates, and volunteers work together to ensure that emerging information technology and practices are designed inclusively. The group promotes inclusion in a full complement of activities:

  • growing design and development practices
  • creating tools that others can use and contribute to
  • teaching the principles and techniques of inclusive design
  • advocating for inclusion in international standards
  • providing services that match solutions with individuals

As part of the IDRC, SNOW is able to connect with various innovative initiatives related to education, youth, technology, and inclusion. Read below to learn about some of the projects complementing SNOW:

  • The Social Justice REPAIR KIT project aims to help youth movements and social justice initiatives become welcoming environments for youth with learning differences and benefit from the advantages of inclusive design. The overarching goals is to empower and enchant youth with the power and potential of learning and education
  • The Flexible Learning for Open Education (floe) project believes in a one-side-fits-one model of learning design, where each individual can personalize their experience to address barriers to learning. floe works on the frameworks, tools, and services needed to support inclusive access to open education resources (OERs), which are open licensed resources that offer teaching, learning, and research materials to use and share. One example, floe partners with the PhET project to help make their physics simulations more accessible to learners with diverse needs. Read more about this initiative in the SNOW Feature Articles on the PhET Simulations and the PhET Accessibility Project.
  • The Nexus is a technology being developed at the IDRC that makes it easier to combine different platforms, software, and other technologies, with the goal of making these different components work together and “talk to each other” more effectively. Visit the floe News page about the Nexus to watch the YouTube video to see how the Nexus could be applied to a science lab to present information in multiple formats (e.g. numerical, visual, auditory).
  • Outside-In was a project that created a diverse set of individualized youth training and mentorship programs to build skills around making digital media more accessible (e.g. making digital office documents such as Word and PDF accessible, adding closed captioning to videos, and reviewing websites for accessibility). The overarching goal was to support skill development for youth with invisible and/or episodic disabilities and to provide them the opportunity to bring their “outside” knowledge and experiences of accessibility “in” to the center, promoting system change. Read more in the SNOW Feature Article about Outside-In.

Please visit the IDRC website to learn more about complementary projects and further initiatives in inclusive design.