The Norwegian Government has taken the principles of universal design and applied them across all policies to create maximum inclusion. This has the effect of making everyone responsible for inclusion at every level – in the built environment, outdoor areas, transport, and ICT. In 2008, the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, launched its first Action Plan 2009-2013, which sets the goal of Norway being universally designed by 2025. In 2010, Norway amended its Planning and Building Act to include universal design. In 2016, The Delta Centre was given responsibility, and funding, to coordinate the actions in the 2015-2019 plan. This plan is more comprehensive and covers ICT and communications to a more detailed level. This is in recognition of how we are becoming more reliant on digital applications.
Jane Bringolf prepared a 2000 word version of her PhD thesis for the FICCDAT Conference held in Toronto, Canada in 2011. In short the research question asked why we are still building and designing homes as if none of us is ever going to grow old. The simple answer is that the industry runs on regulations to hold the house building system together, so nothing will change without regulations. Read the paper to find out more about the complexities of the house building industry and resistance to change.
(FICCDAT is, Festival of International Conferences on Caring, Disability, Aging and Technology and is held every five years.) You can also download the slide show from the conference UD Australian Housing Bringolf slideshow