Welcome to Centre for  Universal Design Australia website

The aim of universalising design is to create a more inclusive world. Universal Design, as an endeavour in its own right, is being used internationally as a vehicle for bringing about wholesale change in design thinking throughout the design process so that all people are considered regardless of age, capability, or background.

Universal design is a design concept not a design product. The principles of universal design can be applied to concrete things like products, buildings and open spaces, to intellectual activities such as designing learning programs, and to conceptual things such as policies and practices.


GAATES Access consulting certification

Picture of a check list with Exceptional, Exceeds Requirements, Meets RequirementsThe Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), an international leader in the field of accessibility, has launched their International Certification of Accessibility Consultants – Built Environment (ICAC-BE) program. The key point from the media release is that almost anyone can present themselves as an access expert. This internationally recognised certification program will help validate those who have such expertise. The following is from their media release, with links to other pages for more information. They have included the concept of universal design in their processes.

“Significant time and contributions from recognized global industry leaders has resulted in the development of the first ever international-level certification program for built environment accessibility experts. The lack of a certification program has allowed people with little or no training or expertise to present themselves as accessibility experts. This has led to uneven and sometimes inadequate costly design solutions.

The identified need for validation of those working in the field was recognized by GAATES who has filled an important gap in the industry. Following internationally established certification protocols (ISO/IEC 17024:2012: Conformity assessment — General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons), a global panel of experts assesses the qualifications and interviews applicants. Evaluators have international experience in public, private and social sectors, and represent a worldwide vision of what constitutes a Universally Designed and accessible built environment. The evaluation is based on both regional practices and international ISO standards.

The program determines whether applications qualify for one of three levels of competency and confirms those professionals who are actively developing universally designed, accessible, and inclusive built environments for everyone, including persons with disabilities and older persons.

International certification will allow those working as accessibility consultants to demonstrate their expertise and it will provide them with a significant business advantage.  Interested applicants are encouraged to contact GAATES to review further details of the program. Please visit our website at www.gaates.org/certification. GAATES’ Program Coordinator may be contacted with specific questions and to begin the application process: certification@gaates.org  


Liveable Housing – your opinion counts

facade of a double fronted two storey home with grand entrance. A McMansionAustralian Network for Universal Housing Design (ANUHD) continues to advocate for all new homes to be accessible. They have a quick survey that will help identify:

  • the difficulties (if any) in finding liveable /universally designed housing
  • the cost and benefit to Australian society in providing universally designed features in all new housing
  • the features that should be in a Livable Standard for all new housing to be accessible/universally designed

As a result of ANUHD’s advocacy, the Australian Building Codes Board will be conducting a Regulatory Impact Assessment to see if access features should be included in the National Construction Code. Part of that process is to assess the need for accessibility. The information from the survey will help inform the discussion paper due out early next year. Please distribute through your networks.


Tried our free course yet?

Title of course: introduction to universal design, yellow and orange blurred coloured background with dark blue text.From the Editor: We are very pleased to see the number of people signing up to our free online course, Introduction to Universal Design. Regardless of your level of understanding, why not give it a go? We’ve tried to make it fun as well as informative. Let us know what you think. After all, the basis of universal design is about the users and what works and what doesn’t. We are planning new courses for next year – your ideas are welcome And if you’ve got part way through the course, get yourself to the end for that certificate! Jane Bringolf.


CUDA AGM and Speaking Program

CUDA will be holding its first Annual General Meeting on Friday 17 November 2017, in Sydney. We will start with a short speaking program featuring CUDA directors in a Pecha Kucha session. The speaking program will commence at 10:30 am with time for questions and an open forum for members and guests. The AGM will follow.

You can download the Agenda and Program with the venue and times, and the Annual Report.

Note: Pecha Kucha 20 x 20 is a style of presentation where the speaker has 20 slides that show for 20 seconds each and are timed automatically. It is a way of getting to the point succinctly. 


In case you missed it…

Title of course: introduction to universal design, yellow and orange blurred coloured background with dark blue text.I’m pleased to report that CUDA’s online course, Introduction to Universal Design, is receiving a lot of attention on social media as well as from last week’s newsletter. This free course is aimed at people who have heard of universal design but not sure what it is or how it can be implemented. Of course, anyone can sign up and go through the steps. There is a certificate of completion at the end. Briefly the topics are the seven principles and eight goals, diversity and stereotyping. It concludes with an overview of how it can be applied in the built environment, to products and to technology. Depending on your prior knowledge it should take one to two hours to complete Introduction to Universal Design. Why not give it a go?

We are happy to receive feedback on the course and suggestions for improvement. Also, we would like to know what topics you would like us to develop for online courses, or there might be a topic you would like to contribute to.

Jane Bringolf, Chair, Centre for Universal Design Australia


Notice of Annual General Meeting

CUDA’s First Annual General Meeting has been set for Friday 17 November 2017. It will be held at 280 Pitt Street, Sydney from 10:30 am. The AGM will be preceded by a short speaking program featuring CUDA Directors. The official proceedings will commence approximately 11:30 am. Non-members are also welcome.

Members will be informed officially of the meeting in due course. Why not become a member? Membership is $25.00 and you can sign up using your credit card or bank transfer. Your membership helps the cause of creating a more inclusive world.


How useful is this newsletter?

Head and shoulders pic of Jane. She has blonde hair and is wearing glasses, and a bright blue jacket. She is smilingDear Subscribers, if you find this newsletter useful and informative please let me know. I mention the website and subscribers when writing submissions and promoting Centre for Universal Design Australia. I will not quote you personally – rather this is to gather collective evidence to support funding submissions. So if you like the newsletters and find them useful, please send me your comments in the form below, or email me Your support is very much appreciated! 

You can also let me know how I can improve the website or newsletter, but bear in mind that I am a self-taught operator utilizing free software. So I might be limited in what I can achieve.

Jane Bringolf, CUDA Chair and newsletter editor.