Canadian museum wins international UD award

picture of the museum, a modern grey building with trees around itThe Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) was today presented with the prestigious Gold Award from the International Association of Universal Design (IAUD) at a ceremony in Nagoya, Japan. The award is presented annually for outstanding contributions towards building an inclusive world where everyone can live together comfortably and without barriers to participation in daily life, regardless of ability, age, gender, ethnicity or other factors.

Shows a display desk with buttons to press.The Canadian Museum for Human Rights decided to adopt an inclusive design methodology from the start, rather than designing something first and adapting it later to be accessible. Inclusion became a mandate across the organization and a key characteristic of the corporate culture. The museum website has much more information including a video.

CMHR standards for inclusive design are a living, evolving product. This leads to creation of increasingly more inclusive experiences for visitors. It also builds awareness and sensitivity about the needs of visitors of all abilities — not only among CMHR teams but across the cultural industry.

This is how universal design is meant to be – continuous improvement, learning from previous iterations of a design. But some industries and businesses need to be persuaded by regulations and mandatory standards which only result in minimum requirements.