Universal Design as a Public Good: can it deliver?

A picture of Ger Craddock speaking at the Australian Universal Design Conference 2014
Dr Ger Craddock, Chief Officer, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (Ireland)

This is a transcript from the live captioning of Ger Craddock’s first keynote presentation at the Australian Universal Design Conference. The transcript includes questions from the audience

UD as a public good Transcript PDF

UD as a public good Transcript Word

Slideshow presentation PDF 4MB

Synopsis:  Dr Craddock’s presentation covers the importance of using consistent terminology when discussing and researching aspects of universal design and supports the use of the term “universal design” as defined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Also essential to the ongoing success of universal design is finding champions within government and industry.

He relates two success stories in Ireland where their Centre worked with the tourism and energy sectors to create improved outcomes for customers.  The development of, and necessity for, standards is well covered by Dr Craddock and the need to produce more evidence for the economic arguments for universal design.  Training and education of design professionals is also an important element and he describes a “Design Challenge” where young designers started to think about users across all age groups, not just their own cohort.  The involvement of end-users – citizens – in co-designing aspects of products, buildings and services is another important element of universal design and fits well with the move for more citizen involvement in decision making. Another core element is policy: polices that are universally designed, that is, inclusive. This requires a systems view of change. Collaboration across countries is essential for advancing the endeavour of universal design, particularly in research and developing datasets. The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design in Ireland is based in the Department of Justice and demonstrates how seriously the Irish Government takes the issues of equity and inclusion of all its citizens, and the seriousness in which it takes its obligations under the UN Convention.