UD Forum and Pecha Kucha Networking

Logo for the forum white background with purple textExciting addition to the Universal Design Forum – Networking Drinks at the Office of Design & Architecture, plus Pecha Kucha talks. This event is included in the Forum registration. If you can’t come to the Forum, why not join us for networking drinks and nibbles at 5:30pm. Tickets are just $15.00.

There is still time to register for the Forum. You can download the program and information about speakers and topics from the Forum website. Key speakers are: The Hon Kelly Vincent MLC, Martin Haese the Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Joe Manton, David Hobbs, Kaare Kronkene Snøhetta, Ro Coroneos, Jane Bringolf, Daniel Bennett, and Peter Schumacher. There will also be Table Top Discussions and a panel session. 

Kelly Vincent has dark red hair and is wearing black rimmed spectacles. She has a grey and white scarf around her neck and she is smiling with red lipstick



The Hon Kelly Vincent, MLC



Destinations for All: Get ready

The photo was taken in the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. A woman in a red dress stands looking at plants and behind her is a man in a hat sitting in a wheelchair and moving along the path between the plants. The glass windows can be seen above.Brussels will be hosting the 2nd World Summit on Accessible Tourism next year. It will present the innovations and best practices for the development of the accessible tourism chain. Abstract submissions open November 2017 and close end of March 2018. The date of the summit is 1-2 October 2018.

You can read more about the first summit held in Montreal in 2014 where 360 participants from 31 countries shared their expertise and experiences. At the end of the summit, they adopted the declaration “A world for all”. Available in 10 languages, the declaration includes 40 concrete measures to implement the recommendations of the UNWTO for inclusive tourism. The declaration is a genuine action plan at the local, national and international levels, promoting the accessibility of tourist infrastructure, buildings and services.  Proceedings from the first summit are also available and worth a look.  


Designers! – A Call for Papers

Logo for the conference in bright pink with white wavy lines and white text for the call for papersThe Design Research Society is a global multi-disciplinary research community. Their next conference is set for 25-28 June 2018 in Limerick, Ireland. There is an inclusive design track: Designing for Diversity; Inclusive Design as a catalyst for change?  The call for papers seeks to go beyond disability, ageing and physical accessibility to include fields that have not previously received much attention, for example, neurodiversity, mental health, and obesity. The call for full papers closes 6 November 2017. There is also a call for workshops.

The conference home page says “Design shapes are daily lives, influencing how we interact with each other and with our environment. When at its best, design is a powerful catalyst for change. DRS2018 Limerick, invites designers to explore these relationships across an exciting four day conference from 25th-28th June 2018”.

Editor’s note: The next major International Universal Design Conference will be held 30 November to 2 December 2018 in Ireland (probably Dublin). More information to come shortly. This conference follows the one in 2016 in Lund, Sweden. The 3rd Australian Universal Design Conference will be held in Brisbane between late August and mid September 2018 – planning is well under way.


Upcoming conferences and events

logo for healthy liveable cities conference Designing Healthy Liveable Cities: 19-20 October 2017 in Melbourne. The NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Healthy Liveable Communites is hosting the event.    


ACAA logo header green merging to blue with white text.Access Consultants Conference: Accessible Wayfinding Experiences – Events and Destinations – are we there yet? 18-20 October 2017, in Brisbane.   


Logo for the forum white background with purple textUniversal Design Forum: Designing and Building for All.  26 October 2017, in Adelaide. Recommended for public and private sector, local government, advocacy and the construction, architecture and design industries.  


The Ageing Well Revolution: Insights into the business and social opportunities of modern ageing. 22-23 November 2017, Adelaide.


UD Forum: Designing and building for all

twilight picture of AdelaideA diverse range of speakers and topics are lined up for the Universal Design Forum to be held in Adelaide 26 October 2017. Among others, Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Martin Haese will give a brief overview of the vision for the City of Adelaide followed by an address by The Hon Kelly Vincent MLC. Norwegian Architect Kronkene Snøhetta will discuss how beautiful architecture can come together with universal design, and David Hobbs will provide a change of pace with the design of a gaming system using universal design principles. Also on the program is a Pecha Kucha session where presenters show 20 slides for 20 seconds each. The day concludes with table top discussions with questions around themes, and a panel session. You can see the full list of speakers and topics on the conference website. 

If you want to know more about Pecha Kucha, the video below uses the concept of 20 slides in 20 seconds to show you how to present at a Pecha Kucha session.



National Housing Conference

The 10th National Housing Conference will be held in Sydney 29 November to 1 December. As usual, much of the focus is on social and affordable housing. However, other topics such as the housing market and land use planning are included. The role of housing and family violence, closing the Indigenous housing gap, and delivering social outcomes are also key themes.Banner for national housing conference

The NDIS, population ageing and housing for mental wellbeing get a mention. For more information, you can download the program from the conference website.


It’s Everybody’s House

Syney Opera House taken from a ship at sunset - the House glows yellow and orange“The Sydney Opera House is the People’s House” says the CEO Louise Herron. That’s why they have a commitment to inclusion and accessibility of both the building and performances. Further building upgrades are scheduled which will include enhanced physical access for audiences and performers. “Accessible performances” as they are listed on the website, include Auslan interpreting, captioning, and audio description.

Children are also well catered for with special educational programs that allow them to appreciate some of what goes on. For example, it is great for a blind child to talk to a ballerina and touch her tutu. There are also autism-friendly performances for families. Free Sing & Play sessions are offered in the Drama Theatre Foyer either before or after specified performances. It includes a range of fun play activities. The musical themes from the performances are facilitated by a Sing & Play music therapist.

For visitors wanting to know more about the building there are regular tours. Accessible tours cater for wheelchair users, people who are blind or have low vision, and people who are deaf or hard or hearing.

Economic inclusion has also been considered. Tickets for $5 are available for some performances for people who hold a Commonwealth Health Care Card.

You can download the Theatre Access Guide for more information about how to get around the building with the minimum of fuss. And the quick reference guide to the theatres, building tours, and availability of the shuttle bus.

If you type “Access” into the search function, this will take you to the relevant tabs and menus. Much thought has gone into accessibility and inclusion in all aspects of the House. They have set a great example for other leading organisations for the arts and other cultural experiences. This is also an example of how a heritage building, designed with no thought for people with disability, can be made fit for purpose.