Author: Erica Charbonneau

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    BIG IDeA for Customers

    You are the expert in what you need. BIG IDeA lets you tell businesses how they are doing and gives you the chance to be part of the solution to accessibility challenges.

    Give help with accessibility and inclusion challenges

    Have you ever been at a business and thought about how much easier or better it would be if only some change was made? Tell us about your accessibility challenge and it may be selected by a team at an Inclusive Design Challenge Event. You could participate too and be part of developing an innovative approach. Suggest an accessibility or inclusion challenge that you want us to tackle at our next design challenge.

    Participate in design challenges because you are an expert in what the customer needs.

    Give Feedback to Businesses

    Most businesses want your business but can be giving the wrong message and turning customers away by having accessibility challenges. We have a way for you to provide suggestions for better accessibility to businesses in Ontario. Let Ontario businesses know about the inclusiveness of the customer experience that they provide. We’ll share your feedback with business owners to help get the dialogue going. We won’t share your name if you don’t want us to.

    Give recognition to businesses that are doing accessibility well

    Have you noticed a small or big change made by a business that makes your customer experience more inclusive or accessible? Tell us about it and we may showcase the business on our web site.

    Add places you visit to the Accessibility Cloud by joining the BIG IDeA Mapathon or use the Business Accessibility Review Form on BIG IDeA.


    BIG IDeA is interested in your expertise in accessibility and inclusion. You can help us with Feedback, Challenges, Inclusive Design,  Awarding Badges and participate in other BIG IDeA events. Sign up as an Accessibility Advisor. You will be able to earn advisor badges so that you can show off your contributions and expertise.


    Become an active agent for improving accessibility in Ontario buy helping us to asses all the businesses you usually visit. Submit a Business Accessibility Review and we will add it to accessibility cloud.


    There are many great resources to help a business understand how to be more inclusive and accessible. We are collecting or even creating resources and training to support your approach to accessibility and inclusion. We cluster them mainly but not merely around various areas of accessibility such as Attitudes & Values and Leadership, Communications, Training & Professional Development, Employment, Goods and Services, and Physical Spaces. Here is a brief description of our resources that we keep them in the loop of updating.

    Accessibility Guidelines for Events

    BIG IDeA’s Accessibility Guidelines for Events provides information for event planners to identify and to overcome access challenges in relations to its participants. Planning access should minimize the need for last minute accommodations and it should foster full participation for persons of disabilities.>>

    Attitudes, Values and Leadership

    An accessible business organization takes ownership and leadership for accessibility activities that go beyond compliance with legislation such as in removing attitudinal barriers toward disability communities, understanding and celebrating the values they can bring to society and participating onto the development of a more inclusive culture.>>


    An accessible business organization integrates information and communication processes that are accessible to all persons with disabilities.>>

    Training & Professional Development

    An accessible business organization sustains accessibility training and professional development for all staff in order to achieve and maintain an accessible organization.>>

    Employment Practices

    An accessible business organization deploys inclusive processes in regards to employment cycle when dealing with potential/ current/recurrent employees with disabilities.>>

    Goods and Services

    An accessible business organization uses inclusive practices when providing/delivering goods and services toward persons with disabilities.>>

    Physical Spaces

    An accessible business organization provides an accessible indoor and outdoor built environment for persons with disabilities.>>

    BIG IDeA for Business

    BIG IDea a Platform to support businesses in Ontario in leading and innovating accessible inclusive practices.


    Accessibility is more than ramps and accessible washrooms. Accessibility means more business. Several facts you need to know about this market:

    • Approximately 6,200,000 Canadians have a disability, that’s almost 1 in every 5 Canadians.
    • $55.4 billion CDN is the estimated buying power of Canadians with disability . This number grows to $366.5 billion CDN when you add in friends and family.
    • The prevalence of disability increases steadily with age: 1 in 3 Canadian seniors have a disability.
    • Seniors are Canada’s fastest-growing age group. They are expected to make up 25% of our population by 2036.
    • Globally, there are approximately 1.3 billion people with disabilities. Their buying power is estimated to be greater than $1.2 trillion USD, or $8.1 trillion USD when friends and family are included.

    If you want to learn how to make your business more accessible you can use our free resources

    Do you have an accessibility or inclusion challenge that you want to suggest we tackle at our next design challenge?


    Why join BIG IDeA?
    Understanding the importance to your business of becoming accessible and inclusive of people with disabilities is the easy part. Knowing what needs to change and how to do it may be more challenging.

    As a BIG IDeA member, we help you assess what’s needed in your business, build your knowledge, understanding and ability to implement accessible and inclusive practices into all areas of the business.

    You will have access to a range of business-focused resources, and advice that will put your business at the front of inclusion practices. In addition, you will have regular opportunities to participate in inclusive design challenges events. These events bring together businesses, designers, customers with disabilities in order to unfold various real-world Accessibility Challenges and to draft inclusive solutions for them.

    What is BIG IDeA Membership?
    Big IDeA Membership connects you to customers, advocates and inclusive designers, to help you to bring accessibility in your business. Membership is Free, and you’ll have:

    • RESOURCES: Online resources and training on accessibility for your business and employees.
    • CUSTOMER FEEDBACK: Private customer feedback from your customers and potential customers (an AODA requirement).
    • DESIGN CHALLENGE PRIORITY: Get your accessibility challenges to the top of our list at inclusive design challenge events.
    • SOLUTIONS: See solutions to accessibility challenges from your business and other businesses like yours.
    • ACCESSIBILITY BADGES: Show potential customers your commitment to accessibility through our self-assessment badging system.
    • PROMOTION: Get your business will be promoted on and listed on major accessibility advisor applications.

    Get resources and training

    We’re gathering and creating resources and training materials to help you learn about and become more inclusive. Visit the Resources section to learn more about:

    • How inclusion increases market share
    • Providing Inclusive Customer Experience
    • Communications that are Inclusive
    • Free Accessibility Training for You and Your Employees
    • Quick and Simple Inclusion Approaches

    Get suggestions from customers

    BIG IDeA has an accessible customer feedback system. Get listed now for free access to the system.

    Get help with accessibility and inclusion challenges

    Create a business listing on the Accessibility Map

    Let potential customers know what you have in place to make their visit inclusive. Get listed on accessibility cloud–it’s easy to do and will get your business on all of these great accessibility applications:

    • AXS Maps
    • Planat
    • AccessNow
    • J’accede
    • Wheelmap
    • Strut

    Submit your business to our Inclusion Showcase

    Have you made a small or big change that makes your business more inclusive or accessible for your customers? Tell us about it and we may showcase your business on our web site.

    BIG IDeA Events

    BIG IDeA is encouraging collaboration and celebrating innovation in many ways. Be a part of the next Inclusive Design Challenge.

    Inclusive Design Challenges

    BIG IDeA hosts Inclusive Design Challenges events that help businesses to solve Accessibility Challenges and sequently to showcase innovative outcomes. Our goal is to help businesses understand the value of accessibility by offering resources and support for inclusive practices. Everyone is welcome, if you would like to contribute or learn more about inclusive design then sign up for a design challenge, or request to be notified of our upcoming Inclusive Design Challenge Events.  Learn more about Inclusive Design Challenges and Inclusive Design Challenge Events.

    Assess Accessibility of services and facilitiesSet measurable goalsMike practical improvementsCelebrate achievements

    These events bring together businesses, designers, customers with disabilities in order to unfold various real-world Accessibility Challenges and to draft inclusive solutions for them. We call these events Hackathons and we run few of them so far:

    Inclusive Design Challenge with MakerFest 
    Inclusive Design Challenge with IDRC
    Inclusive Design Challenge: Race-to-the-Edge
    Inclusive Design Challenge with TELUS
    Inclusive Design Challenge Showcase: Access Density
    Micro Inclusive Design Challenge – DEEP 2018
    Micro Inclusive Design Challenge for Businesses and Organizations

    Upcoming Inclusive Design Challenges

    Click here to register for an upcoming Inclusive Design Challenge.

    Design Innovation Showcases

    We’re going to show you the innovative approaches to accessibility on the BIG IDeA web site and at showcase events.

    Have you seen or implemented some great examples of inclusion and accessibility in Ontario? Nominate your example for our showcase.


    Would you like to know more about or sign up for mapathons? Let us know at

    Would you like to become active for improving accessibility in Ontario? Then become a BIG IDeA Member and help us to asses all the businesses you usually visit. We share the data with Accessibility Cloud. Let others know how accessible places are by completely the Quick Accessibility Assessments Form. 

    Participating Business Profiles

    Submit your business accessibility profile and get your business on the accessibility map!

    BIG IDeA in the News

    This page is a collection of news and other media stories about BIG IDeA activities.

    About BIG IDeA

    BIG IDeA brings together businesses, customers with lived experience of disability and the next generation of business leaders to collaboratively advance accessibility innovation in Ontario and create a culture of accessibility and inclusion. The Inclusive Design Research Centre leads a consortium that is develop and implementing this BIG IDeA pilot. We are developing a platform to support businesses in Ontario in leading and innovating accessible and inclusive practices.

    Recognizing Innovators

    BIG IDeA will support a process for nominating businesses that demonstrate exemplary and innovative practices so that they can be recognized and their accomplishment showcased online and through live events.  Business innovation in inclusive design will be assessed through a dual process of continuous constructive customer reviews (& accessibility mapping events) combined with verification by a multi-stakeholder expert panel.

    Engaging the Community

    Students, youth and the larger community will be recruited and engaged in innovatively addressing accessibility goals through design challenge events such as hackathons, and design sprints.

    Supporting Businesses

    Businesses will be equipped to implement and innovate in accessibility through a growing open repository of training modules, tools, resources and reusable accessibility components.

    Mapping an Inclusive Ontario

    Customers with disabilities, including tourists and visitors, their families, and the groups they belong to, will be able to find businesses that address their accessibility needs through aggregated mapping tools of accessible businesses.

    BIG IDeA will create a responsive ecosystem that advances accessibility for all customers in tandem with business innovation and global leadership in inclusive design to benefit the Ontario economy and Ontario communities.