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Education Commons at OISE


Guidelines and Resources


OISE Computer Labs and Software | Adaptive Technology Lab | Adaptive Technology Cart

Library Services
| Technology-Enabled Accommodations

OISE Policy on Equity and Diversity | Accessibility Services | OISE Building Access Notices

The Education Commons is committed to providing accessible services and facilities for students, faculty and staff. If you encounter any barriers to access, either in our physical space or in use of our online services, please speak to the EC staff person responsible for support in that area. If you have particular software or equipment needs, please advise us of your requirements and we will make arrangements to accommodate your preferences.

If you experience any accessibility issues that cannot be directly resolved by EC support staff, please contact Laurie Harrison, Director of Information Technology.

It is the goal of the Education Commons that new web applications developed by the Solutions Development Team will be accessible to all users. Programmers consult the applicable W3C WAI guidelines and techniques documentation when undertaking new projects. Existing applications are being enhanced during re-development cycles if any barriers to access are identified.


OISE Computer Labs and Software

A wheelchair accessible lab is available in the common area of the EC computer lab, located on the 3rd floor of the main OISE building. In addition, the EC provides a range of adaptive technology software on every workstation in the lab area, including the computer classrooms. For a list of the technologies that are available in the OISE computer lab go to the Computer Labs page . Products available include:

  • Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • Kurzweil 3000 + Scanners
  • SMART Ideas
  • Zoom Text
  • JAWS - Demo version
  • Inspiration

Other software products available through the OESS licensing include:

  • Co:Writer 4000 Solo
  • Write:Outloud Solo


Adaptive Technology Lab - Quiet Space and Scanner

An adaptive technology lab is available for students who require specialized hardware or software in quiet area, for example for use of voice input technology. This facility is also available to students, instructors or developers who would like to explore the functionality of the software or test resources and applications they have developed.

Please let us know if you would like assistance or consultation on the accessibility of web-based resources you are developing or using.

If you have particular software or equipment needs, please advise us of your requirements and we will do our best to accommodate you. Please contact the EC Computer Lab Supervisor.

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Adaptive Technology Cart

The "Adaptive Technology Cart" is a mobile workstation that can be used by students, faculty and staff for demonstration and instructional purposes. It is available on a flexible basis for individual use, group activities or classroom demos.

Please see Adaptive Technology Cart for more information.


Library Services

The library provides a online guide to inform users with disabilities about the services and facilities available to them through the Education Commons at OISE. Detailed information is available regarding OISE Library Services for People with Disabilities.


Technology-Enabled Accommodations

Normally accommodations are coordinated by Accessibility Services or UofT Health and Well Being. Please note that students with temporary disabilities can register with Accessibility Services at 215 Huron St. or by calling 416.978.7677 for an appointment.

In the event that special temporary arrangements are required to enable the participation of a student, staff or faculty member in the ongoing academic and administrative activities of the institution, it may be possible to leverage technology-based strategies to ensure inclusion. The following resources may be accessed through the Education Commons using regular business processes, or alternatively a consultation with the Director of IT of the Education Commons may be requested.

1. Equipment available on loan may be accessed from EC Media Services using the Online Booking Form. This includes:

  • Table top telephone audio conferencing unit
  • Digital Video Camera
  • Digital Voice Recorder

2. UofT Blackboard Portal supports the sharing of various file types and provides asynchronous discussion tools in courses or community organizations. Other tools include chat, collaborative white board and virtual classroom. The Blackboard virtual classroom incorporates the chat, group web browsing (web touring), private question-and-answer, and breakout room capability. However, this has had limited use and exploration of functionality by EC staff and the OISE community.

3. Webconferencing is used to conduct live meetings, training, or presentations via the Internet. In a web conference, participants in different locations use a local workstation or laptop to connect to other members of the group via the Internet. OISE has licenced access to Adobe Connect for this purpose. This may be used in the KITL, depending on resource availability, or at an individual’s computer if software is installed and they have an webcam and/or microphone. Contact portal@oise.utoronto.ca for assistance.

4. File sharing is available using OISE HomeSpace. This may be useful for transferring audio or webcast archives. For relatively small file sizes, faculty & staff individual accounts can be used to share files either through a public folder or a restricted folder using UTORid access. Faculty & staff can contact the portal@oise.utoronto.ca to request an OISE HomeSpace account. Arrangements for large file transfer can be made on a temporary basis through arrangement with the Director of IT for the Education Commons.


OISE Policy on Equity and Diversity

OISE has a strong history and commitment to principles of equity of diversity.  A Policy on Equity and Diversity is available on the OISE web site.


Accessibility Services 

Accessibility Services facilitates the inclusion of students with disabilities into all aspects of university life.  Services include:

  • Alternative test & examination arrangements
  • Notetaking services
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Adaptive equipment & assistive devices
  • Alternative format for printed materials
  • Information & resource materials on health conditions & disability related issues
  • Liaison with academic & administrative units within the University & with off-campus agencies

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 OISE Building Access Notices

For information on closures effecting access to the OISE building, please visit OISE Building Access Notices.

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Campus-wide Building Access Notices (RSS):