2018 Assistive Techology Conference

ARATA logoThe Australian Assistive Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association conference will be in Melbourne 14-16 November 2018. Three full days of evidence and practice-based sessions, discussions, posters and demonstrations, and much more. National and international keynote speakers, a breakfast session and trade display all make for a jam-packed event.

Universal Design and Assistive Technolgy (AT) are partners in the same quest – inclusion and participation for everyone. AAATE believes that UD (Design for All) and AT should be looked at as part of the same domain of knowledge, rather that deal with these as two distinct domains. Practitioners in the UD world focus on designs that are inclusive and enabling rather than excluding. However, UD is not the answer to everything and some people need individual solutions and specialised designs. The simplest example is a paraplegic needs both a wheelchair and a step-free entry. One is no good without the other. AT is now a major part of the NDIS and there is growing interest in this field

banner for ARATA conference


Who’s coming to the conference?

Night scene over Brisbane river with bright pink upper case lettering saying Brisbane.Want to know who is speaking at the 3rd Australian Universal Design Conference? With the theme Home and Away: Creating inclusion everywhere the main themes are: house and home, getting out and about, tourism and travel. Architect Allen Kong will provide some great international case studies for both housing and tourism, and Margaret Ward, Penny Galbraith and Courtney Wright will get everyone up to date on the current thinking on accessible housing. We have great keynotes as well: Chris Veitch will make the trip from the UK to tell us what is going on in the tourism space in UK and Europe, Nicki Hutley from Deloittes will give us a run-down on person-centred economics, and Amy Child from Arup will take our thinking into the future of transportation. Plus we have Kieran O’Donnell from the Australian Building Codes Board, Bill Forrester from Travability, and Nadia Feeney from the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse. Liz Ainsworth and Micheal Bleasdale are organising a Home Modifications panel session. And there is much, much more in the program. You can find out more detail, speaker bios and abstracts on the conference website. And of course you can register – earlybird still open.

Conference banner with the call to register now.


Upcoming conferences

Aerial view of a crowded conference scene where the session has finished and people are standing, sitting and walking about.National Disability Sports Conference 16-18 July 2018 Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

International Federation on Ageing Conference 8-10 August, Toronto, Canada

Aged and Community Services Australia National Summit, 3-5 September, ICC Sydney.

Universal Design & Higher Education in Transformation Congress, 30 Oct – 2 November 2018, Dublin Castle, Ireland.

Australian Assistive Technology Conference 14-16 November 2018, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

AAG Conference “Advancing not Retiring: Active Players, A Fair Future” 21-23 November 2018, Melbourne

ACAA Access Consultants National Conference, August 2019, Luna Park Sydney. Save the Date notice.


Call for Posters and Table Topics

banner advertising the conference showing a city river scene and bridgeMissed the deadline to make a presentation at the 3rd Australian Universal Design Conference? How about a doing a poster? Or, perhaps you would like to eat and meet with a Table Topic and lead a small discussion group at lunchtime on the first day.

Nick Loder stands by his poster at a conferencePosters are a good way of showcasing your work. So if you have a great example of universal design we’d all like to see it. This is a good way for students to get involved too. Posters should be no larger than A1 (594 x 841 mm) and should be accompanied by a short explanation.  For more details about posters, contact Jane Bringolf.

People are seated around a large table and Elise Copeland from New Zealand is leading a Table Topic discussionTable Topics is where you can eat and meet and lead a lunchtime discussion using either questions, handouts, or a short presentation on a laptop to get the discussion going. With cabaret-style seating, it is easy for delegates to get their lunch and bring it to whichever table they are interested in. The lunchbreak on the first day will be extended by half an hour to get the most out of this activity. If you are interested in leading a Table Topic, contact Jane Bringolf.

Concurrent speaker abstracts and biographies are now available for you to peruse.


Speakers confirmed for the UD Conference

Square banner with conference date and theme, Home and Away, creating inclusion everywhere.All concurrent session speakers for the 3rd Australian Universal Design Conference are confirmed and you can now access their abstracts and biographies. The theme is Home and Away: Creating inclusion everywhere. The program is jam-packed with information and practical examples for house and home, for tourism, travel and getting out and about. Earlybird registrations available now.

Major keynote speakers are: Nicki Hutley, Partner, Deloitte Access Economics; Amy Child, Associate, Transport and Cities, Arup, and Chris Veitch, Tourism Consultant, Access New Business. Other keynotes are Nadia Feeney, Operations Manager, Australian Tourism Data Warehouse, Bill Forrester, Travability, and Kieran O’Donnell, Senior Project Officer, Australian Building Codes Board. Lenna Klintworth will be our Master of Ceremonies. Their biographies and presentation outlines will be available soon.

A special one hour interactive panel session on home modifications will be led by Michael Bleasdale and Liz Ainsworth. Specialist home modification builders will be part of the discussions. We will also have Table Topics during an extended lunch break on the first day. This allows everyone to get involved and a good way of networking. Want to showcase something – why not present a poster or a Table Topic?  


National Disability Sports Convention

Logo for the conventionThe first National Disability Sports Conference (NDSC) will be held 17-18 July in Melbourne in conjunction with the major sports convention. It will showcase disability sport management practices and innovative solutions. The aim is to create more opportunities for people with disability to engage in sport and recreation through the development of inclusive practices. The NDSC will also examine how the sports industry is positioning itself in preparation for the full rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.The Australian Sports Commission identified that a lack of integrated sport and recreation programs and appropriately trained staff were some of the biggest reasons for people with disability not being able to participate.