About us

How we got started: A call for a centre for universal design was made at the inaugural Australian Universal Design Conference held in Sydney in August 2014. There was much support for this idea, by both speakers and by delegates. At the 2nd Australian UD Conference an announcement was made about the establishment of Centre for Universal Design Australia as a not for profit entity. We gained Charity status in November 2017.

Our key activity is to maintain this website and produce a weekly newsletter of the latest web posts. Our first online training, Introduction to Universal Design was launched on October 2017 and our second on housing policy in April 2020. We held our 3rd Australian Universal Design Conference in Brisbane in September 2018. You can download the 2018-2019 Annual Report to find out more about our activities.

The Directors of the Board are: Dr Jane Bringolf, Dr Phillippa Carnemolla, Prof Philip Taylor, Ms Sarah Davidson, Mr John Evernden, Dr Penny Galbraith, Ms Tanisha Cowell and Dr Emily Steel. 

Support the aims and goals of the organisation by becoming a member, subscribe to the newsletter of latest web posts, and follow us, like and share on Linked In, Facebook and Twitter. There is a donation button on the left hand menu. Our Privacy Policy explains how we keep your information confidential.

Centre for Universal Design Australia logo in blue.


Vision and Mission


Vision: Our vision is to live in a world where everyone can participate in all aspects of social and economic life.

Mission: To achieve our vision we will endeavour to promote and protect the human rights of people with disability, older people and children. Specifically to:

  • to act as an advocate for people with disability of all ages in relation to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and other related Australian laws and policies,
  • to ensure people with disability, children and older people can participate in social and economic life on an equal basis with others.
  • provide input into public policy for the inclusion of people with disability, children, and older people
  • work with and support disability and ageing charitable advocacy organisations by providing education and related resources
  • raise public awareness regarding the importance of social and economic inclusion of people with disability, children and older people
  • link and liaise with similar organisations and advocacy groups nationally and internationally
  • provide education and training programs on universal design and inclusive practice
  • provide a forum for all people engaged in furthering the rights of persons with disability, children and older people to foster cross-sectorial and interdisciplinary work, information exchange and to develop best practice 
  • Position Australia at the forefront of best practice in universal design 
  • Promote the social and economic benefits of universal design
  • Gather and share knowledge and experience about designing universally

We seek to operationalise the concept of inclusion across design disciplines and policy development in five key ways: resource provision, education and training, policy and practice, research, and a community of practice. Specifically:

Resource provision

  • Be a resource centre for the general public, advocacy organisations, industry, commerce, and health sectors
  • Act as a clearing house to bring together the work of individuals and organisations to maximise resources, disseminate information, prevent duplication and identify gaps

Education and training

  • Provide education programs, assist the design disciplines develop inclusive design curricula, and run practical training programs
  • Increase understanding of the benefits of universal design within the population

Policy and practice

  • Develop standards and guidelines to assist in the practical application of universal design principles within individual disciplines and sectors
  • Provide input into public policy, strategies and plans at all levels of government


  • Support innovative research programs relating to social and economic inclusion

Community of practice

  • Encourage and foster cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary work
  • Provide information via various formats including newsletters, website, social media, fact sheets, conferences, and seminars
  • Link with similar centres overseas and be a platform for international connections
  • Set up special interest groups (industrial design, built environments, ICT, etc)

Charity status logo




Updated 25 August 2018