CUDA’s Symposium in Brisbane

Connecting People and Places with Universal Design: Queensland leading the way

CUDA’s Symposium held in Brisbane 30 May 2024

The Olympic and Paralympic Games is a great opportunity to embed a universal design approach into all the work leading up to the event. This would drive the access and inclusion agenda for everyone in a coordinated way. The purpose of CUDA’s symposium was to find ways to embed universal design thinking into the implementation plan.

The panel speakers gave insights into their experiences with inclusion and universal design. We had an excellent live captioner in the room and every word was recorded and transcribed. You can read the edited highlights of the panel session in a Word document. 

Text taken from Elevate 2042 which says, the vision for elevate 2042 is that my 2042 we will live in an inclusive sustainable and connected society with more opportunities in life for everyone.Two key themes emerged from the workshop session:

  • Embed universal design principles in all procurement processes including pre-procurement to develop appropriate scopes of works.
  • Embed co-design at the beginning of all decision-making processes at all levels and make the process mandatory. 

You can read the full set of draft recommendations and provide feedback to email  

Universal design is a unifying concept

Universal design is three things: an ethical principle for inclusion of diversity; a vision of an inclusive society; and a unifying approach to policy and perspectives. It’s this last point that is of greatest value to the implementation of the Games Legacy Strategy.

With so many government departments and stakeholders involved, an abstract concept such as inclusion can fall between the cracks. Taking universal design approach across the development of all activities keeps inclusion at the forefront in transport, housing, planning, employment, communications, services, and tourism to name a few.

The panel speakers

Malcolm Middleton, OAM, former Queensland Government Architect, will address the topic of housing. 


Kevin Cocks AM, Department of Transport and Main Roads will address the topic of transport.


Melissa James, Inclusive Tourism Australia will discuss the topic of tourism.



Head shot of Rebecca Arnaud. She has light hair tied back and blue eyes. She is wearing a royal blue jacket.

Rebecca Arnaud, Brisbane City Council’s Manager, Legacy and Games Planning and will take a local government perspective.



Conferences and calls for papers

This page has the latest information on upcoming conferences and calls for papers. 

A large room with a power point screen at the front and people sitting at tables cabaret style

New to the list:

NTRO International Conference, The Transport Revolution: Solutions led by innovation , 7-9 May 2025, Melbourne. Call for abstracts open until 31 August 2024. 6 topics but not much on inclusion. 

9th National Brain Injury Conference, 24-26 September 2024, Adelaide. Also 3 pre-conference workshops on: positive behaviour support; domestic and family violence; and concussion. 

UD2024: International Conference on Universal Design, Oslo, Norway, 20-22 November 2024. The title is, “Universal Design: Shaping a Sustainable, Equitable and Resilient Future!”  List of topics is extensive and showcases the breadth of universal design practice. Conference proceedings will be published open access by IOS Press.

Australian Assistive Technology Conference 2024, 6-8 November, Gold Coast. Theme: Sun, Sea & AT: The rising tide of innovation and inclusive technology. Hosted by ARATA. 

CWUAAT: Design for Sustainable Inclusion – Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology. 2-4 April 2025, Cambridge UK. Call for long papers opens 3 June and closes 8 July 2024. Call for poster papers closes 11 October 2024. Themes: diversity and inclusion, intersectionality, inclusive design in challenging contexts, inclusive design and AI. 

Other conferences

Smart Cities Week APAC: 5-10 August, Adelaide. Bringing together leading global policymakers, thought leaders, academics, researchers, philanthropists and corporations to build capability, capacity and cross-sector collaboration to deliver global positive social, environmental and economic outcomes.

IEA2024 Congress (International Ergonomics Association), August 25-29, 2024 Republic of Korea. Inclusive/universal design and ageing society are included themes.

World Design Congress, London 17-19 September 2025. Hosted by the Design Council. Theme is Design for Planet.

M-Enabling Summit 2024, 15-17 October 2024, Washington DC. Join discussions on digital accessibility. Organised by G3ict. 

Email with a link to your event and it will be added to the list. 

6th International Conference on Universal Design, was held 7-9 September 2022. Brescia, Italy. Transforming our world through universal design for human development. The book of open access conference papers is open access

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