Upcoming events

bright pink seating in an auditoriumFor quick reference here are some upcoming events for the rest of 2017.

Accessible Housing Forum, 15 August 2017, Sydney.  

Access 2017, Access Consultants Conference, 18-20 October, Brisbane.  

Universal Design Forum, 26 October 2017, Adelaide.  

Ageing Well International Conference,  22-23 November 2017, Adelaide.  

Universal Design Summit 6, 13-14 November, 2017, St Louis University, USA.  


Barcelona ICTH Conference

Nicholas Loder stands by his poster at the Barcelona Conference. The poster is in sections and is in red white and blackCUDA Director, Nicholas Loder, travelled to Barcelona, Spain, to attend the recent International Conference on Health and Transport (ICTH) and present a poster (pictured). Here is his report of the event and his poster.

“My poster highlights the need to provide affordable social housing with a tested universal design provision. A case study of a built project in South Western Sydney demonstrated how moving from the Livable Housing Design Guidelines’ Platinum Level to the Gold Level provided sufficient features for future modifications for disability requirements, plus a significant reduction in floor area. This allows for an increase in social housing units per development”. 

The poster is also a statement about actors in the planning world and how at the heart of planning is people in all their diversity, a key approach in universal design. This was echoed in the presentation from the Keynote speaker Luise Norling from Brookings Institute Copenhagen and workshop speakers from Skidmore Owens and Merrill, all of whom emphasised the political role interventions require for urban planning decisions are inclusive for all the city’s citizens.

A particularly interesting and age friendly experimental intervention showcased in one of the workshops was the work undertaken by Barcelona City to take cars away from the streets. By reconfiguring the car transport grid into Superblocks or ‘Superilla’, basically using two levels of priority for the existing (busy) grid, ‘internal’ low speed streets could be pedestrianised and made into calm spaces – without demolishing a single building. You can find out more by going to the Barcelona webpage and seeing the video on taking back streets. Note any through (bike only) routes reduced to 10kph! 

ICTH is a direct participatory experience. Policy-makers, practitioners and academics from multiple disciplines and professional sectors involved in transport planning and engineering, public health, urban planning, spatial and architectural design, environmental planning, economics and beyond, convened at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) Campus Mar located in Barcelona, Spain, 27-29 June 2017, to share their stories of success and failure; build world-wide collaborative friendships; but most importantly, leave inspired.


Access Consultants’ Conference 2017

ACAA logo header green merging to blue with white text.The Association of Consultants in Access Australia (ACAA) is holding its biennial national conference in Brisbane 18-20 October 2017. A key focus of the event is wayfinding. A new Australian Standard on accessible wayfinding signage is expected to be released later this year. So this is a good opportunity to catch up on the latest. Performance solutions that are technology based will also feature. With the Commonwealth Games scheduled for next year in Brisbane, this makes for another key topic. You can download the program.

The draft of the new wayfinding standard is open for comment until 2 August 2017. You will need to go to the Standards Australia website hub to register comments, which need to be specific suggested changes to any of the clauses.

You can find other posts on wayfinding by using the search facility on the home page.


Wayfinding standard open for comment

Standards Australia logo - yellow swoop line with black letteringStandards Australia are inviting comment on the latest draft of the new Wayfinding Standard. The closing date for comment is 2 August 2017.  You will need to go to the Standards Australia website hub to register comments which need to be specific suggested changes to any of the clauses. The Standard is focused on signage for people who are blind or have low vision. In the Foreword of the document it states:

Wayfinding is of particular importance to people who are blind, deafblind or have low vision as they cannot utilize many of the visual cues available to people who are sighted. The ease and accuracy with which a person who is blind, deafblind or who has low vision can find their way through a specific environment is dependent upon many factors including the complexity of the physical environment and the number of wayfinding decisions required to reach their destination. Wayfinding systems serve various purposes, such as enabling users to—
(a) identify a building or place and the range of facilities and points of interest present within a place or building;
(b) understand the physical relationship between these points; and
(c) determine an appropriate path of travel to reach a required destination or point of interest for their individual needs.
A developed wayfinding system for a building or place can enable continuous pathways that are legible to people with disabilities and should provide information for users to—
(i) confirm they are at the correct start or finish point of an individual journey;
(ii) identify their location within a building or an external space;
(iii) reinforce they are travelling in the right direction;
(iv) orient themselves within a building or an external space;
(v) understand the location and any potential hazards;
(vi) identify their destination on arrival; and
(vii) escape safely in an emergency.

You can find other posts on wayfinding by using the search facility on the home page.



UD Forum in Adelaide

twilight picture of AdelaideThe UD forum scheduled for 26 October 2017 in Adelaide is taking shape with a draft program almost ready. The Hon Kelly Vincent MLC will be one of the speakers. Norwegian architect Kaare Krokene will provide an international perspective, and Nathan Crane will moderate an architecture and design panel session. Other speakers are being lined up and there will be a small trade display. Watch this space for more info coming, but put the date in your diary! The title of the day is, Designing and Building for All: Adelaide Universal Design Forum. It will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Sponsorships and trade display opportunities are open. We are pleased to have The City of Adelaide as a major sponsor. The draft program is available now.


Normal is a fantasy

black and white photo of a young man wearing a T shirt and leaning on the bars of a window grille.This article begins with, “Your stomach is knotted. But you’ve prepared. It’s go time. Outwardly, you fit in with your peers. Yet only you could know about the invisible disability within you that no one else can see. The thing that makes you different. Not “normal.”” The article goes on to discuss the concept of normal from the perspective of a young person starting a new school year.  An interesting read about being a normate, the fear of being ordinary (FOBO), and identity. It is presented in a very readable way with lots of great photos. The article, This May Sound Awkward, but Normal Is a Fantasy,  can be found on the Invisible Disability Project website.  


Designs for Life

Dr Phillippa Carnemolla is in the news for her work on home modifications and how it can improve the quality of life for older people and people with disability. In the UNSW Newsroom article, she says, “I want it to be much easier for people to have houses that they can live their entire lives in with autonomy and mobility and freedom.”  As an industrial designer, she has a passion for design and human rights.

Phillippa’s PhD study showed that “improving people’s home environments not only impacted the amount of care received in the home – it almost halved the amount of care – but it changed relationships.” She goes on to say, “Inclusive design is design that enables people to have that quality of life that we’re talking about – so to participate, to be as independent as possible, to be autonomous and to live in the world without having to ask permission.  It’s about how we include people in the research and design process so that they’re a participant in that decision making and that what we get in the end works for as many people as possible.”

Kitchen Drawers with easy grip handlesRead the full article by going to the UNSW Newsroom website. You can also read one of Phillippa’s conference papers.  She is currently working on a project providing supported accommodation for people at the highest level of need; people who require assistance to be available 24-hours a day.

Dr Carnemolla is a Director of Centre for Universal Design Australia.