AAATE Conference 27-30 Aug 2019, Bologna

An aerial view of Bologne, Italy showing terracotta roofs and medieval style buildings around a square.In Europe the quest for inclusion is about both universal design and assistive technology. Although the AAATE conference has a strong assistive technology focus, they have a universal design strand and encourage universal design researchers and practitioners to submit abstracts. The call for papers for the conference will close 28 February 2019. UD followers can find value in seeing the progress in assistive technology in all its forms, and how it supports and fits with the principles of UD. Papers are published by IOS Press. AAATE is a sister organisation to ARATA (Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association).

Editor’s note: I have found these conferences very interesting because much of the leading research, funded by the EU, is showcased here. Everything from mainstream universal design to smart technologies, robotics and web developments. At  the 2009 conference I presented a paper with a philosophical take on inclusion, Turning back time for inclusion for today as well as tomorrow.  



It was a great conference!

With more than 120 attendees, five countries present and five Australian states represented, it was a very successful Australian Universal Design Conference. The atmosphere was abuzz with like-minded colleagues catching up and new friendships forming. We were welcomed by Meaghan Scanlon, Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development, and Neroli Holmes, Acting Anti-Discrimination Commissioner. The conference opened with Nicki Hutley, who gave us the benefit of her years of research and declared that everyone benefits from inclusion both economically and socially. Lots to think about when it comes to self driving cars and Amy Child covered some of the many aspects to consider. Here are some of the slides from concurrent session speakers on day one – more to come next newsletter:

Thea Kurdi from Canada –  Living in Place:Who are we designing for?

Lorraine Guthrie from New Zealand – Accessibility Charter for Canterbury: Collaborating to go beyone compliance

Michael Small – Developing the conditions to support a universal design approach

Emily Steel – Universal Design in social policy: Addressing the paradox of equality

Tom Bevan – Case Study: Accessible beaches for all.

Elise Copeland from New Zealand – A universal design tool for mixed use buildings. Slideshow was too big to upload but the transcript is provided plus the video below. You can go to the Auckland website to see the UD Design Tool.



IAUD Conference Thailand

IAUD logo with coloured matchstick figures.The next International Association for Universal Design Conference will be held in Bankok, Thailand 5-6 March 2019. It is not clear from the website whether the call for submissions closes 31 August 2018 or 30 November, which is definitely the date for full paper submissions. You can find out more from the conference website. Topics are wide-ranging. This is usually a large international affair. IAUD is based in Japan and was originaly initiated by product manufacturers recognising that the population was ageing. Not the most intuitively designed conference website, but the information is there and also links to previous conference papers that could be of interest. .