Conferences and calls for papers

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

COVID-19 Update: This conference is postponed until 12-13 October 2020. Earlybird registration will now end 31 August 2020.

NEW TO THE LIST

International Ergonomics Association Triennial Congress, IEA2021, 13-18 June 2021, Vancouver, Canada.

Call for participation in special sessions: please send an expression of interest email to Isabella Steffan: info@studiosteffan.it  adding a title, a short description of one of the following topics you would like to present, by 30 May 2020:
• Robotics and Design for All
• Accessibility and usability for all, indoor visual environments (a joint session with the IEA Technical Committee: Visual Ergonomics).
Relevant visual ergonomics topics could include, but are not limited
to, visual contrast, lighting and colour.
• The challenges of designing and maintaining universally usable safe pedestrian environments (a joint session with the IEA Technical
Committee: Slips Trips and Falls).

The conference website has more information about submitting papers.

Inclusive Africa Conference 2020 on Digital Accessibility, 3-4 November, Nairobi, Kenya. Call for video submissions close 1 October 2020. Submit online. 

Other conferences and events:  Where conference websites have been updated, new dates are shown below. There might be additional calls for papers. Check with conference organisers.

Access Israel conference postponed from May 2020 to a date to be advised.

Smart Accessibility 2020.  International Conference on Universal Accessibility and the Internet of Things and Smart Environments. New date: 21-25 June 2020, Barcelona, Spain. Wide ranging topics: accessibility by design, built environment, smart cities, techniques and tools, technology for independent living, digital inclusion, Internet of Things and much more. 

Dementia Australia National Symposium 2020, Postponed – date to be decided. Sydney. Includes the Dawn Booker Masterclass. Speakers include Ita Buttrose and Janet Anderson. Be quick for extended earlybird.

Australian Placemaking Summit, Melbourne, New dates 10-11 August. The placemaking movement is gaining momentum in Australia. Includes rapid talks as well as a long list of speakers including from San Francisco, New Zealand, and Denmark.

From Access to Inclusion 2020; an Arts and Culture Summit: Postponed until 22-25 March 2021. Dublin, Ireland.  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 9-11 June 2021 – this is a revised date. 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. New date for September and presented online.  Main theme: Care in the age of outrage. There are many topics including built environment. ePosters are still being accepted until 21 July 2020.

22nd World Packaging Conference, Universidad de Monterrey, Mexico, 15-18 June 2020. Packaging is facing many challenges. Easy opening and ergonomics are included in the conference streams. To be delivered online.

Liveable Cities Conference, postponed until 2021. Perth, Western Australia. 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,  Arlington (Washington DC). New date 14-16 September . 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. Will be held either face to face or virtually.

The Disability Innovation Summit Postponed until August 2021 – date to be announced along with the Olympic Games. Priority 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  close 1 April 2020 for science track and 1 May 2020 for forum track. A major international event supported by UNESCO. The terminology in the full title of the conference reflects that of the first conference in 1989, so is better known now as ICCHP. Will be held online.

Designing Cities 2020: Boston 14-17 September 2020. “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

Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting (GSA2020), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 4-8 November 2020. Theme: Turning 75: Why Age Matters. The 2020 theme was selected as a celebration of GSA’s 75th Anniversary. We’re celebrating the collective accomplishments of members that have strengthened the field of aging and the mission of GSA. Presentations, programs, and activities will reflect the theme of the 75th year which is “honor the past and enrich the future.” 

2021

Liveable Cities Conference, postponed until 2021. Perth, Western Australia. 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. 

From Access to Inclusion 2020; an Arts and Culture Summit: Postponed until 22-25 March 2021. Dublin, Ireland.  An international gathering of access professionals and advocates exploring how to provide seamless, person-centred experiences in arts and culture.

5th Universal Design Conference, Finland 9-11 June 2021 – this is a revised date. This follows the four previous conferences in Scandinavia, UK and Ireland. This one will be Dipoli, Aalto University, Espoo.

The Disability Innovation Summit Postponed until August 2021 – date to be announced along with the Olympic Games. Priority 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.

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

Is your professional association inclusive?

logo of American Sociological Society - blue on white backgroundThe American Sociological Association has developed a comprehensive policy to ensure the highest level of inclusion for all members. They have 15 recommendations that could be a model for others to follow.

While the focus is on conferences, seminars and other events they hold, the list also includes: how to file a disability complaint regarding the association, processes for membership renewal to the association, orientation to conference venue or meeting site, and web content accessibility rules. The article is in the Association’s publication, Footnotes, and is titledImplementing Professional Curb Cuts: Recommendations of the Status Committee on Persons with Disabilities.

ASA has on ongoing commitment to using universal design principles to make ASA events truly welcoming to all members. 

The Status Committee’s 15 recommendations are: 

    1. Continue to support the Committee on the Status of Persons with Disabilities.
    2. Continue to collect disability related data during membership renewal process.
    3. Fully institute a system for recording disability concerns and their resolution.
    4. Provide accessible electronic copies of the Annual Meeting program upon request as a standard accessibility feature.
    5. Establish as standard ASA policy and practice the distribution of a letter regarding disability services to members who check the box requesting information during their membership renewal.
    6. As part of standard meeting policy, the hotel should complete an accessibility checklist, preferably before contracting or at least a year before the meeting, to enable the identification of accessibility problems. Based on this checklist, ASA staff can identify potential problems and negotiate their resolution. Completed checklists should be recorded and saved, and made available to the committee to the extent appropriate, along with reports on changes made to properties in response to them.
    7. As part of standard meeting policy, the ASA should conduct an on-site inspection following receipt of the checklist.
    8. Provide an orientation/walk-through of the Annual Meeting site upon request as a standard accessibility service (to be conducted by members of the Committee or members of the Section on Disabilities).
    9. Provide a gender-neutral restroom as a standard accessibility service.
    10. Provide captioning for all plenary sessions as standard practice (not simply upon request).
    11. Insert accessibility features/concerns onto the Annual Meeting program maps.
    12. Materials related to the Annual Meeting site more broadly should offer relevant accessibility information (e.g., the restaurant guide, tour descriptions, and location transportation information).
    13. A brief mention of disability services and how to file a concern/complaint should be in the Annual Meeting program, on the website, and emailed to any member who has requested information on these services when they renewed their membership.
    14. As a matter of policy, include a link to the 2008 Footnotes articles on universal design and accessible presentations in acceptance notices for Annual Meeting presentations.
    15. Provide continued support needed to gain a “Double-A Conformance to Web Content Accessibility” sticker for the ASA web site, awarded by the Website Accessibility Initiative (WAI). 

UD2020 Conference: A look at the program

Conference logo. Universal Design Conference 2020COVID-19 Update:  This conference is postponed until 12-13 October 2020. Delegates and speakers will be advised accordingly by Interpoint Events.

We will advise of any program changes due to the change of date.

Check out the program for the 4th Australian Universal Design Conference. Apart from our amazing Keynote Speakers and Panellists, we have a great selection of concurrent sessions. Local government is well represented in the program:

    • Holiday Parks Access Project – Garry Ellem, Lake Macquarie City Council
    • Sensory rooms – Jack Mulholland, Maroondah City Council
    • Supporting beneficial housing models in a dynamic disability housing market: a cross sectorial response – Linda Martin-Chew, City of Whittlesea
    • UD in local government: action research findings – Adam Johnson, Edith Cowan University

Also of interest to local government will be two presentations on inclusive playspaces, the dementia project in Moonee Ponds, and mobility scooter research. Public toilets also get a place in the program along with two papers related to autism. And remember we have James Thurston’s keynote on the Five Pillars of Inclusive Smart Cities. That’s a must for everyone.

Join us for this celebration of universal design and register now for earlybird rates – they close 31 March!  CUDA members get an extra discount. 

The conference will be held at the brand new Victoria Pavillion, Melbourne Showgrounds 12-13 October. For extra value, the ATSA Independent Living Expo will be in the same location for 13-14 October. Entry to the expo is free.

Front entrance of Victoria Pavilion, the conference venue

UD2020: 4th Australian Universal Design Conference

Conference logo. Universal Design Conference 2020

COVID-19 update: This conference is postponed until 12-13 October 2020. More information to follow. Interpoint Events will be in touch with all delegates and speakers.

We will advise of any program changes due to the new date.

It’s promising to be a great conference! The conference website has the program with links to abstracts, and the list of speakers. Highlights include keynotes from James Thurston from G3ict, Philip Taylor from Federation University, and Paul Harpur live video from New York.

The inclusive tourism panel will have Martin Heng, Lonely Planet, Nicole Healy, Victorian Government, and Sarah Seddon, formerly from Destination Melbourne. The final panel session will discuss the role of government in promoting and implementing universal design: James Thurston, G3ict, Michael Walker, Victorian Government, and Fiona Morrison, NSW Government will give their views. With a lunchtime walking tour, Table Topic discussions, workshops and posters there’s something for everyone! 

Time to think about sponsoring – what about the coffee cart at $3500?  See the prospectus for more opportunities or email Tannia Garces

The conference will be held 12-13 October 2020 in the brand new Victoria Pavilion, Melbourne Showgrounds. It’s close to the city and the airport. 

Front entrance of Victoria Pavilion, the conference venue

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.

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.