Universal Design in Sport and Recreation

UD-logo-200x200Sofi De Lesantis is Manager of Metropolitan Community Facilities at Sport and Recreation Victoria.  Her team works in partnership with local government to plan and invest in new and improved sport and recreation facilities that aim to meet the needs of all users across metropolitan Melbourne.  

Sofi discusses how universal design thinking and principles can be applied in the sport and recreation sector, such as procurement and planning processes to influence design outcomes and how its use can lead to more active and engaged communities.

Sofi De Lesantis presentation slideshow PDF  2MB

Abstract: As Australians, sport and recreation forms an invaluable part of our cultural fabric. At the elite level it is a source of pride and unity, and at the grassroots level it is in many cases the heart of entire communities.  Continue reading Universal Design in Sport and Recreation

Universal Design and Transport

UD-logo-200x200Liz Reedy discusses how many developed countries have incorporated requirements of universal design in their laws and regulations. This presentation will compare and contrast progress made in Australia with other developed countries and discuss how Australia can improve its transport systems to be more inclusive. The recent upgrades to several railway stations in Sydney were used to engage audience participation.

Liz Reedy presentation slideshow  PDF  2 MB

Universal Neighbourhood Design:

UD-logo-200x200Making place for multi-generations of all abilities

Assoc Prof Lisa Stafford discussed the need for building an agenda for universal neighbourhood design to cater for multi-generational use, using three studies: children, older people, document analysis of neighbourhoods. 

Contact Lisa Stafford directly if you are interested in this presentation.

Abstract:  Neighbourhoods play an integral role in facilitating both individual and community wellbeing. Continue reading Universal Neighbourhood Design:

Slips Trips and Falls: Access, Safety and Poetry in Urban Places

UD-logo-200x200John Clarke is currently Director of Parish Clarke Architects, and was formerly Principal Architect with GHD Architecture and Principal of Urban Design and City Projects with Brisbane City Council. Contact John Clarke if you are interested in this presentation.

Abstract: Notwithstanding the recent attention to sustainability in Urban Design, there remains a vast difference between the aspirations of public authorities and designers and the built outcomes in our urban places. As a culture, and as designers and place managers, and as custodians of the public realm, we need to be more vigilant, better prepared, educated, and to better understand what is required of built environments. Issues of universal design and particularly accessibility and public safety continue to be misunderstood, and place management poorly conceived or implemented. Continue reading Slips Trips and Falls: Access, Safety and Poetry in Urban Places

Design for inclusive play spaces and parks

UD-logo-200x200Design for access and inclusion in play spaces and parks: those devilish details that make a difference

Mary Jeavons is a landscape architect with more than 25 years experience in the design of inclusive play spaces. In her presentation she shows some of the practicalities of creating inclusion. As is often the case, it’s the attention to detail that makes the difference. Her slideshow has many pictures and this makes it a large document to download.

Jeavons presentation slideshow PDF 22MB

Presentation Abstract:  The need for access to nature, parks, gardens and diverse outdoor play opportunities is well documented and fundamental to human wellbeing. Parks and open space become increasingly important as the densities of cities increase. The design of these important spaces is therefore critical in determining how individuals of all ages and abilities access the outdoor settings for play and recreation, physical activity, social interaction, respite and retreat, and engagement with nature. This paper focuses on the design of parks and play spaces of all kinds and their potential for intergenerational play, social interaction and community building, and for interaction with the natural world. This is a contested domain. Play equipment in a neatly fenced rubber space, it is argued, cannot meet all of the play needs of today’s children and families. To design quality play settings in urban environments, designers need to address challenging issues in play provision such as the need for: looseness and responsiveness in public parks to allow for hands-on engagement and creativity; self-directed, unstructured play; provision for risk taking behaviour; high levels of useability and multi functionality; and for diversity in the qualities of parks, play spaces and open space. A particularly thoughtful approach is required to provide and protect these and many other aspects of quality play and recreation environments, and to engage users of all ages and all abilities. As we broaden our concept of play, we can diversify the way we design to maximise useability. This richly illustrated presentation will show examples of details that matter to maximise physical access, social inclusion and opportunities for all users to participate in outdoor play in parks. (Paper presented by Sally Jeavons.)

Engaging with communities and stakeholders in universal design

UD-logo-200x200Michelle Blicavs is CEO of IAP2 (International Association for Public Participation) gives an overview of community participation in planning and design. 

Michelle Blicavs slideshow presentation PDF

Abstract: Planning and design for our public spaces often attracts great emotions from our communities. Public participation, or community engagement, is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to involved in the decision-making process. It includes the promise that the public’s contribution will influence the decision. This presentation will provide some insights into how outrage can be minimised and how a better engagement process can result in better outcomes in planning and designing public infrastructure that meets the needs of the community. Continue reading Engaging with communities and stakeholders in universal design

Applying universal design principles to existing homes

Front cover of proceedings of the 2014 conference in Lund SwedenPhillippa Carnemolla’s paper presented at the 2014 UD Conference in Lund, Sweden is titled: The potential of a home modification strategy – a universal design approach to existing housing. The conclusions of this somewhat technical study are based on the lack of accessible mainstream housing supply and the desire for people to age in their current home. “In conclusion the research suggests that home modifications informed by Universal design principles can support the changing social needs of Australia’s ageing populations by meeting the complex, multi layered and individual needs of older people as they continue to age and provide an opportunity to impact wellbeing, caregiving, independence, safety and security.”

Abstract: The significance of home modifications for ageing populations extends beyond the physical modification of an existing home. This paper discusses the potential for home modifications to impact the process of ageing well. Home modifications apply Universal Design Principles in the targeted and restricted setting of an existing home environment. There is evidence to suggest that home modifications operate on dual levels – addressing broader societal concerns about accessible housing and care demand, while concurrently addressing the individual needs of older people who want to age well in their own home. This paper refers to preliminary findings of an ongoing research project investigating the value of home modifications. It uses a mixed method approach (AQoL utility scoring and thematic analysis) to analyse survey responses from home modification recipients (n=89). Preliminary findings reveal an increase in utility scores following home modifications, this increase in health related quality of life is further supported by the thematic analysis. These results are discussed in terms of the dual role that home modifications play in responding to individual needs and broader society and reinforce that home modifications play a variety of roles in supporting ageing well at home that extend beyond the physical environment. In conclusion, the research supports and contributes to developing evidence that home modifications have the  potential to support the changing social needs of Australia’s ageing populations in ageing well by impacting health related quality of life and improving feelings of independence, and safety/confidence.

You can find all the open access papers from the Lund conference, Universal Design 2014: Three days of Creativity and Diversity.

Creating enabling environments: Stories of success

UD-logo-200x200Danielle McIntosh discusses how evidence based design principles and features can support dignity, wellbeing and inclusion for people with dementia. She presents success point in all situations from public domain to residential services.

Danielle McIntosh slideshow presentation PDF 1MB

Abstract: Dementia design is good design per se! So why is good design for older people and people with dementia rarely prioritised in the creation of liveable community spaces? Older people and people with dementia require environments that will compensate for the myriad sensory, physical and cognitive changes that can strip away their independence. The built environment can have a positive impact on supporting older people and people with dementia to live well. This presentation will address how evidence based design principles and features can support dignity, wellbeing and inclusion. Experiences and success points from designing and building residential aged care services, independent living units, outdoor public spaces.

Remember Hearing Loss

Carol Wilkinson iUD-logo-200x200s a Hearing Advisor at Better Hearing Australia (BHA) in Victoria. BHA is a not for profit organisation offering an advisory service to anyone with hearing problems. 

Carol Wilkinson presentation notes PDF

Abstract: It is vital that planners, architects and building designers consider people with hearing loss in order to enhance universal design of public spaces. Imagine you are going on a long awaited holiday.  At the airport there is a delay to the flight but you are unsure why. A message comes over the PA system but you’re having trouble understanding it because you have a hearing loss and, even with hearing aids, the noisy background makes it impossible for you to hear the announcement. It is the middle of the night at your hotel and the fire alarm goes off.  Thank goodness it’s a false alarm, because you don’t sleep in your hearing aids and you were not woken by this auditory signal. The restaurants and cafes that you dine in whilst away are noisy and this makes it difficult to converse with the new people you are meeting on your tour as well as the staff. 

All these difficulties could be avoided or at least improved upon if more thought had gone into the design of buildings and facilities.  Hearing loss seems to be a forgotten disability in many ways, not the least when it comes to providing public facilities. At least twenty percent of the population experience hearing loss with younger people also affected. Consequently, it is amazing that there is not a greater awareness of providing an inclusive environment for people who are deaf or hearing impaired. This paper will look at things that can help, whether at home or on holiday, and how it is much easier and cost effective it is to include them in design rather than retrofitting.