Brescia Declaration for Universal Design

The Brescia Declaration for Universal Design is a statement of the state of play in universal design and the need to progress the concepts further. It is written in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic which revealed the gaps in equity and inclusion. The Declaration is on the downloads page of the UD2022 conference website. Organisations that agree with the final Declaration can show their support by providing their logo.

The Brescia Declaration is underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the 7 Principles of Universal Design. It is a lengthy statement with reference to national obligations related to international conventions. It promotes the inherent values of universal design in all design disciplines and provision of services, and concludes with a list of actions.

Dr Ger Craddock, Chief Executive, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design in Ireland drafted the document for presentation at the Universal Design Conference in Brescia, Italy – UD2022. Image of rural Brescia

A hilltop view over the city of Brescia showing low rise apartment buildings sitting nestled in the surrounding hillsides.

CUDA believes we have moved beyond the 7 Principles to a shared view of design based on co-design processes. We present a short plain language version of the call to action and a list of principles. Organisations can adapt this version for their own policy statements.

A call to action

For a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable world, and for the benefit of all, we call for collaborative action based on a universal design approach.

Principles for embedding a universal design approach

  • Apply co-design methods in all design disciplines and all aspects of human activity
  • Embed a universal design framework for all policy making and policy guidance
  • Embed the concept of universal design in all procurement processes
  • Promote the concept of population diversity to minimise exclusion and marginalisation
  • Engage a diverse range of users in design processes from the outset of all projects
  • Develop performance based standards in disciplines that rely on regulations
  • Promote a culture of inclusion by integrating universal design into compliance commitments and requirements
  • Ensure that universal design principles work effectively with the aims of sustainability
  • Invest in research and development of equitable and affordable products and services
  • Embed universal design in all education programs and disciplines
  • Promote universal design in learning (UDL) in all aspects of teaching and learning
  • Embed the ethics of equity and inclusion in school-based learning
  • Provide equitable access to all services including digital services
  • Respond to changing needs and insights with flexibility
  • Invest in workforce training and education on why a universal design approach is important
  • Apply universal design across the lifecycle of all projects and ongoing management.

Papers from the 2022 conference are open access and ready for download from the conference website.

Lavender coloured banner for the UD2022 Conference in Brescia.

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