Where are all the children?

UD-logo-200x200Assoc Prof Lisa Stafford‘s presentation is titled, “Where are all the children? Positioning children, young people with a disability and their families in the universal design agenda”.

Synopsis: Much of the discourse around universal design assumes an adult perspective and consequently children are left out and become invisible in the designs.  Lisa argues that we must include children, including those with a disability and their families if we are to truly be representative in our policies and practices in universal design. Otherwise they will end up as an afterthought.

Five small children stand in a line with their backs facing the camera. Kindergartens can be inclusive for all children.

Stafford Presentation Transcript PDF

Stafford Presentation TranscripWord

Fair Play: Inclusion begins in the playground

UD Conference logoEdited transcript of Bec Ho and Justine Perkins presentation, Fair Play: Inclusion begins in the playground.

Synopsis: Including children with a disability in outdoor play is possible with some careful design planning. All children benefit from learning through play and using outdoor activities to socialise and interact with each other regardless of their level of capability. Bec and Justine provide insightful case studies and an overview of the Touched by Olivia Foundation.

Bec Ho, Justine Perkins Presentation Transcript PDF

Bec Ho, Justine Perkins Presentation Transcript Word

Bec Ho, Justine Perkins Slideshow PDF 9MB


Slip Resistance According to Goldilocks

UD-logo-200x200Richard Bowman says that slips are often misreported and thus overrepresented as a cause of falls, where many such falls are not necessarily associated with slippery surfaces. There are many factors to consider in preventing slip-initiated falls and not all of these can be captured in an industry standard.  Cleaning materials and wear and tear over time all contribute to the complexity of the challenge of providing adequately sustainable slip resistant inclusive access. The title of his presentation is Slip Resistance According to Goldilocks.

Richard Bowman slideshow  PDF  7MB


The Goldilocks principle dictates that liveable housing should have flooring that is just right. In terms of slip resistance this means not too slippery and not too rough (so as to be difficult to clean or likely to cause stumbles). This enlightened view runs contrary to some safety experts, who simply believe that specifying greater slip resistance is the effective panacea. People want to live in safe homely environments, not with senselessly mandated semi-industrial flooring.  

In a sensible world we would make informed decisions based on established data. In the world of slip resistance, there has been no infrastructural benchmarking. Undertaking any public good research is generally considered somebody else’s responsibility due to the perceived high costs. Governments invest heavily in trying to prevent older people from falling, where researchers seek to devise increasingly incremental degrees of preserved health, fitness and postural stability, and to protect older people from being subjected to medically prescribed polypharmaceutical disorientation. Yet none of the duplicated biomedical multivariable studies have actually determined the available underfoot traction. Most falls by older people are likely to be due to biomedical causes rather than environmentally induced slips, but the whole community benefits from appropriate slip resistance levels.

This presentation will provide a sneak preview of outcomes of two current research projects: a psychophysical slip resistance study where experiential public participation should indicate what bathroom flooring is considered to be just right; and a pilot study using virtual reality environments to determine when pedestrians modify their gait and reduce their traction demand, thus enabling development of improved risk models relevant to specific situations. The ultimate aim is to get universal design slip resistance specifications just right.

Inclusion a Necessity not an Option

UD-logo-200x200Geoff Barker’s presentation highlights the importance of community engagement and involvement. Using a case study of a project in the Northern Territory with the local Aboriginal people he shows how careful planning, and involvement in all stages from initial concept to implementation, is important for the success of a project. Inclusion is a necessity and not an option. 

Geoff Barker Presentation Transcript  PDF

Geoff Barker Presentation Transcript Word

Geoff Barker slideshow   PDF  4MB

Beyond Universal Design: What else can designers do?

UD-logo-200x200Transcript from the live captioning of Guy Luscombe’s presentation, Beyond Universal Design: What else can designers do?

Guy outlines his research in Europe which included engagement with older residents in care settings and found some unexpected results.  He was looking for innovative buildings for housing and care for older people.  Large windows was an unexpected finding and he goes on to discuss why this might be one of the most desirable features, among others, for older people.

Guy Luscombe Presentation Transcript PDF

Guy Luscombe Presentation Transcript Word


The principles of universal design, as they are realised in buildings and products, focus on physical and physiological needs such as accessibility and of ease of use.

However, despite being hinted at by principles of equitability and simplicity, the more emotional and psychological barriers, such as stigmatisation and social exclusion, are not usually actively addressed in building design.

True universal design would surely address this and try to design for the whole person. But is it possible and if so, how can the more emotional and psychological needs be addressed in design?

This presentation will draw upon an exploration of innovative buildings for older people completed as part of a Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship study tour recently completed to suggest that there are ways to design for the whole person and provide a more thorough, richer and ultimately more inclusive universality.

Universal Design as a Public Good: can it deliver?

A picture of Ger Craddock speaking at the Australian Universal Design Conference 2014
Dr Ger Craddock, Chief Officer, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (Ireland)

DrGer Craddock’s first keynote presentation, Universal Design as a Public Good, was captioned and transcribed. It was his presentation at the 2014 Australian Universal Design Conference that got CUDA off to a start. The transcript includes questions from the audience

UD as a public good Transcript PDF

UD as a public good Transcript Word

Slideshow presentation PDF 4MB

Synopsis:  Dr Craddock’s presentation covers the importance of using consistent terminology when discussing and researching aspects of universal design and supports the use of the term “universal design” as defined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Also essential to the ongoing success of universal design is finding champions within government and industry. Continue Reading Universal Design as a Public Good: can it deliver?

Final Panel Session: Where to from here?

UD-logo-200x200This is an edited transcript of the final panel session at the Australian Universal Design Conference 2014. 

Dr Ger Craddock, The Hon Susan Ryan AO, Ms Joe Manton, and Mr Richard Hawkins discuss the need for a centre for universal design in Australia. It includes audience questions. 

Final Panel Session Where to from Here? Transcript PDF

Final Panel Session Where to from Here? Transcript Word

Ger Craddock’s presentation of the UD Centre in Ireland

A picture of Ger Craddock speaking at the Australian Universal Design Conference 2014
Dr Ger Craddock, Chief Officer, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (Ireland)

Embracing the whole mosaic that forms society, Ireland’s story 

You can read the edited transcript from the live captioning of Dr Ger Craddock‘s keynote presentation at the Australian Universal Design Conference 2104. He explains how the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design was set up in 2007 and the progress made to date.  He showcases how a dedicated centre can promote the principles, provide information and educational guidance, develop appropriate standards and be a driving force for inclusion. His presentation was the catalyst for starting CUDA.

Ger Craddock’s transcript  PDF        Ger Craddock’s transcript  Word 

Ger Craddock’s slideshow PDF 4MB

Dr Ger Craddock speaking at the Australian UD Conference in 2014 showing the live captioning screen
Dr Ger Craddock showing the live captioning screen

Synopsis:  Dr Craddock outlines some of the challenges and successes of the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design in Ireland. He explains the establishment of the Centre and its position within the government framework. He highlights the work they have carried out since its inception seven years ago and some of the key documents that have helped inform their work. Much of the Centre’s work has been engaging with stakeholders to develop many standards and guidelines, promotional material, educational packages, and award programs.

The Centre covers the three key areas of design: the built environment, product development, and information and communication technology. Universal design in education is also closely linked. Their website contains many useful publications, guidelines and standards. Dr Craddock’s presentation was followed by a panel session and a call for a similar centre to be set up in Australia. The presentation begins with a video of students undertaking a design challenge.


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