UD2020 Keynote speakers announced

Front entrance of Victoria Pavilion, the conference venueWe are very excited to have James Thurston join us to talk about inclusive smart cities. James is G3ict’s Vice President for Global Strategy and Development and previously worked for Microsoft on their accessibility policy. Philip Taylor will discuss the myths around ageing and work, and Paul Harpur will join us from New York via video link to take a human rights view of inclusion. 

The conference website has more information about the keynotes and concurrent speakers. 

The 4th Australian Universal Design Conference will be held 12-13 May at the new Victoria Pavilion, Melbourne Showground. 

Conferences and calls for papers

An external view of the venue showing level entry. 4th Australian Universal Design Conference

Early announcement of Keynote speakers: James Thurston from 3Gitc, the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs, will talk about smart cities for all. Philip Taylor will share his passion about older people and workforce issues. The conference will be held 12-13 May 2020 at Melbourne Showground’s brand new Victoria Pavilion. The theme is Thriving with Universal Design: Everyone, Everywhere, Everyday. It promises to be a great event!. Draft program available soon – lots of different topics for this conference. CUDA members receive a discount on registration.

NEW TO THE LIST

Active Living Conference, 2-5 February 2020, Orlando Florida. Program now available. 

World Urban Forum, 8-13 February 2020, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Organised by UN-Habitat – the United Nations major conference on urban issues. Online registrations close 21 January 2020.

National Walking Summit, 10-11 March 2020, St Louis. Walking has the power to do many things- improve health, provide access, increase social engagement.

Transportation professionals conference: Joint ITE International and Southern District Annual Meeting and Exhibition, 9-12 August 2020, New Orleans. Call for abstracts closed. Program to be published soon.

International Council on Active Aging Conference, Summit & Expo. 26-29 October, 2020, Long Beach California. Theme: Aging well: the great disruptor. 

AND THE REST

Florida State University AMPS Conference: Experiential Design – Rethinking relations between people, objects and environments. 16-17 January 2020, in Tallahassee. 

Active Living Conference, 2-5 February 2020, Orlando Florida. Program now available. 

World Urban Forum, 8-13 February 2020, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Organised by UN-Habitat – the United Nations major conference on urban issues. Online registrations close 21 January 2020.

Slips, Trips and Falls Conference 13-14 February 2020 Madrid. Topics include architectural design, ageing, ergonomics, footwear, and safety standards as well as falls prevention and analysing accidents. Website is in Spanish and English.

ITAC2020: Transforming Independence Through Innovative Technology, 3-4 March 2020, Brisbane. The theme emphasises the importance of assistive technology supporting service quality and independence. This is one for health professionals interested in IT developments.

National Walking Summit, 10-11 March 2020, St Louis. Walking has the power to do many things- improve health, provide access, increase social engagement.

Smart Accessibility 2020.  International Conference on Universal Accessibility and the Internet of Things and Smart Environments. 22-26 March 2020, Barcelona, Spain. Wide ranging topics: built environment, smart cities, techniques and tools, technology for independent living, digital inclusion, Internet of Things and much more. 

Designing for Inclusion CWUAAT. 10th Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology. University of Cambridge 23-25 March 2020. A cross disciplinary event with interesting and intersecting topic themes.

National Sustainability Conference, 27-28 April 2020, Brisbane. The theme is “Sustainable Solutions for a New Decade”. Now is the opportunity to see universal design and social inclusion in the sustainability agenda. Two topics relate: Good Health and Wellbeing, and Sustainable Cities and Communities. 

6th International Conference on ICT for Ageing Well and e-Health (ICT4AWE2020), Prague, Czech Republic 3-5 May 2020. Regular papers accepted until February 27 2020. Other deadlines for other types of papers. For those who study age and health-related quality of life and apply information and communication technologies for helping people stay healthier, more independent and active at work or in their community. ICT4AWE is organized in 3 major tracks:
1 – Aging well – social and human sciences perspective
2 – Ambient Intelligence and Independent living
3 – Telemedicine and e-health

From Access to Inclusion 2020; an Arts and Culture Summit 11-14 May 2020 Dublin, Ireland. Call for papers closed 12 November 2019. An international gathering of access professionals and advocates exploring how to provide seamless, person-centred experiences in arts and culture.

Not to be confused with the 4th Australian Universal Design Conference, there is another one in Finland 15-17 June 2020. This follows the four previous conferences in Scandinavia, UK and Ireland. This one will be Dipoli, Aalto University, Espoo.

International Dementia Conference 11-12 June 2020, Sydney.  Main theme: Care in the age of outrage. There are many topics including built environment. ePosters are still being accepted.

Liveable Cities Conference 22-23 June 2020, Perth Western Australia. Presentation Submissions Close 6 March 2020. Program Themes include transport and mobility, circular economy, community engagement, affordability and employment. The concept of inclusion is under the Community Engagement and Culture theme. 

M-Enabling Summit Conference 2020, 22-24 June 2020, Arlington (Washington DC). Call for Presentations closes 16 March 2020. This event is dedicated to promoting accessible and assistive technology for all. It is an annual meeting place for all who implement digital accessibility strategies or develop enabling ICT products, services for workplaces, learning environments or consumer markets.

Transportation professionals conference: Joint ITE International and Southern District Annual Meeting and Exhibition, 9-12 August 2020, New Orleans. Call for abstracts closed. Program to be published soon.

The Disability Innovation Summit will be run alongside the Tokyo Paralympic Games in August 2020. Call for papers will run between October 2019 and March 2020Priority will be given to submissions with: a passion to collaborate globally; products and ideas that are ready to go to market; or have the ability to be scaled; and tangible solutions that can impact lives around the world.

17th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs, 9-11 September, Lecco, Italy. Call for contributions for close 1 April 2020 for science track and 1 May 2020 for forum track. 

Designing Cities 2020: Boston 14-17 September 2020. Save the date. “The NACTO Designing Cities Conference brings together 900 officials, planners, and practitioners to advance the state of transportation in cities.”

International Council on Active Aging Conference, Summit & Expo. 26-29 October, 2020, Long Beach California. Theme: Aging well: the great disruptor. Call for presentations closed 10 January 2020.

National Parks and Recreation Annual Conference 27- 29 October 2020, Orlando, Florida.  Speed Session proposals accepted from 16 – 30 April 2020

2021

Destinations for All 2021 Summit  19-21 September 2021, Miami, Florida. This follows from the one held in Belgium in 2018. Updates to follow.

UD2020 4th Australian Universal Design Conference

Front entrance of Victoria Pavilion, the conference venue4th Australian Universal Design Conference – UD2020 will be held 12-13 May 2020, Melbourne Showgrounds. The theme is Thriving with Universal Design: Everyone, Everywhere, Everyday.

The theme allows a broad range of topics to be included from academics, practitioners, educators, policy makers and anyone interested in universal design and inclusive practice. Topics can include anything that relates to the theme, including research papers, case studies and personal experience. For example:

Transportation
Built environment
Sustainability
Housing
Education
Product development
Industrial design
Digital technology
Communications
Policy development
Tourism and travel
Playgrounds, parks and open spaces
Recreation
Art and culture
Sport
Entertainment
Events and attractions
Media and journalism
Health and wellbeing
Community engagement

Abstracts are in and the program is being devised. Enquiries to Jane Bringolf email udaustralia@gmail.com

For a list of other conferences Conferences and Calls for Papers

CUDA Members receive a reduced registration fee. Registrations will open soon. 

 

Keep it Simple for Inclusion

A group of language dictionaries are laid out on a table.First there was closed captioning and then live captioning. Audio describing came along soon afterwards. Now we have the possibility of “simultaneous simplification”. Two researchers wanted to ensure people with various cognitive conditions could participate in a conference. Using audio transcribing facilities, interpreters simplified the language of the speakers in real time.  

After the conference they interviewed participants and found people with significant cognitive conditions were able to fully participate in a professional conference. Participants also retained the information a few weeks later. Of course, people who don’t speak the language of the speaker also benefit. The title of the short paper is, Simultaneous Simplification: Stretching the Boundaries of UDL.

Editor’s note: I’d like to see academics writing for the general population instead of writing in academic code for the benefit of other academics. Useful knowledge on many things would become more readily available to everyone. It’s time to have universally designed academic papers. 

“I don’t need a microphone.” But yes, you do

Picture of an ear with sound wavesThere are three types of hearing augmentation systems – but which one to use? The system preferred by most users is a “hearing loop”. It is connected to the sound system in a meeting room or auditorium. People wearing a hearing device with a telecoil, have the sound sent directly to the device. It screens out all the background noise and gives definition to the speech. However, a microphone must be used all the time. So no more “I’ve got a loud voice, I don’t need a microphone” because it won’t be transmitted. Hearing Connections website gives an explanation of this system, FM and Infra-red systems. A system with an ambient microphone that picks up all the sound in the room amplifies all the sounds – so background noise is included with the speech. It can defeat the object. Also, the system should be turned on automatically – no-one should need to ask for it – that’s the point. Building designers, owners and managers have a legal obligation to incorporate the needs of people who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

Editor’s comment: I’ve been given lots of different reasons why the hearing system isn’t working. I’ve been told that permission is needed from  security to turn it on, as well as being told it can’t be switched on because people outside the room might hear confidential information. Clearly, having the system installed and connected is one thing, and training people about its use and purpose is another. 

Making conferences more accessible

A student lab showing a man with a cochlear implant talking to a womanAn academic paper titled Making Academia More Accessible chooses to start the topic with accessible conferences and events. A case study is used to to demonstrate how it is possible to overcome “Ableism in Academia”. An interesting and easy read for anyone staging events of any size. Each of the features are listed including; quiet room, catering, live captioning, sign language, PowerPoint presentations, staging, microphone use, ticketing and toilets. The concluding reflections discuss the feedback they received and the ongoing impact of this work. The paper also discusses how academia has to consider the diversity of its workforce as well as its student body and others. The case study comes from University College London and University of Kent. There is a link to a one page summary of the strategies at the end of the article.

Editor’s comment: While there were extra costs involved, especially live captioning and signing, there was no extra budget assigned – it was achieved by volunteer effort and sponsorship. The argument for the economic value of inclusion is therefore lost and will continue to be lost until it is realised the extra cost is actually an investment. It is not ‘lost’ money.

Universal design and accessible meetings

picture of a large audience watching a presentation.Even conferences about inclusion, universal design and accessibility can fail to meet the first requirement of their own content – to make the conference and venue accessible and inclusive. So how will conference organisers learn about access and inclusion?  New research aims to promote awareness among meeting organisers and the conference supplier companies about the need to remove barriers to meetings and conventions. This includes the whole issue of destinations and visitor experience for the surrounding area. The report, Universal Accessibility in Meetings, was produced by BestCities Global Alliance, Gaining Edge, and RI International. 12 cities are featured in case studies, including Melbourne, and there is a 15 point checklist for meeting organisers. Final step will be to get presenters to universally design their PowerPoint presentations.  A quick review can be found on the Conference and Incentive Travel website.

Look at me!

An orange automated vehicle has eyes that appear to be looking at a pedestrianWorried that a driverless car won’t see or detect you? With a driver you can check to see if they are looking your way, but if there is no driver, that can be a worry. Autonomous vehicles are posing many problems for designers who are grappling with most of them quite successfully. So for this problem Jaguar has come up with a car with googly eyes. The “eyes” don’t “see” you, but it can give confidence that you have been detected because the eyes follow you as you cross the pedestrian crossing. I should think that once we get used to automated vehicles, eventually eyes will be phased out. Amy Child from Arup gave an entertaining presentation on this and other aspects of the move to driverless cars, including the googly eyes. The transcript of Amy’s keynote presentation can be downloaded in Word. 

It was a great conference!

With more than 120 attendees, five countries present and five Australian states represented, it was a very successful Australian Universal Design Conference. The atmosphere was abuzz with like-minded colleagues catching up and new friendships forming. We were welcomed by Meaghan Scanlon, Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development, and Neroli Holmes, Acting Anti-Discrimination Commissioner. The conference opened with Nicki Hutley, who gave us the benefit of her years of research and declared that everyone benefits from inclusion both economically and socially. Lots to think about when it comes to self driving cars and Amy Child covered some of the many aspects to consider. Here are some of the slides from concurrent session speakers on day one – more to come next newsletter:

Thea Kurdi from Canada –  Living in Place:Who are we designing for?

Lorraine Guthrie from New Zealand – Accessibility Charter for Canterbury: Collaborating to go beyone compliance

Michael Small – Developing the conditions to support a universal design approach

Emily Steel – Universal Design in social policy: Addressing the paradox of equality

Tom Bevan – Case Study: Accessible beaches for all.

Elise Copeland from New Zealand – A universal design tool for mixed use buildings. Slideshow was too big to upload but the transcript is provided plus the video below. You can go to the Auckland website to see the UD Design Tool.

 

Can everybody hear me? Protocol for meetings and events

Front cover of the protocol for meetings and events. People who can’t hear well at meetings tend to avoid them. This means their voices are left out of focus groups and community consultations. Consequently, hearing issues are not heard or catered for (excuse pun). It also means they don’t go to group events at restaurants or even family gatherings because it gets frustrating and also tiring when trying to concentrate on listening all the time. Ideas for Ears in the UK is actively advocating for people with hearing loss and has developed the Hearing Access Protocol for meetings and events. it provides guidance on how to run meetings and events so people with any hearing ability can hear and follow them. The Protocol was developed by people with hearing loss. You can download the PDF version of the Protocol. People with hearing loss should be able to participate in civic events and activities on the same basis as others.