A new Australian centre for universal design has been founded to promote the principles of universal design and the benefits of social and economic inclusion.

Established by Dr Jane Bringolf, the Centre for Universal Design Australia has been launched with a website, with the ultimate aim of establishing a physical centre.

The not-for-profit organisation aims to bring together experts in the field to share knowledge and resources, build broad public and industry awareness and influence policy and practice.

Calls for an Australian centre gathered momentum at the inaugural Universal Design Conference in Sydney in 2014, at which the head of the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design in Ireland was a keynote speaker.

The former Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan lent her support to the idea and told the conference embedding inclusive design principles in Australia would support the implementation of both aged care reform and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. (Read that story here)

In late August at the 2nd Universal Design Conference, Dr Bringolf publicly announced the creation of the Australian centre and called for those with an interest in universal design to get behind the initiative.

The centre’s website includes a number of resources, links to academic papers and information on topics such as the built environment, housing design, and technology.

Dr Bringolf said the centre aimed to put Australia at the forefront of best practice in universal design and encourage and foster cross-sectorial linkages in the field.

This week the organisation announced its newly appointed directors:

  • Dr Phillippa Carnemolla – industrial designer and researcher in home modifications
  • Joe Manton – director of Institute of Access Training Australia
  • Dr Lisa Stafford – research fellow at the University of Queensland
  • Professor Philip Taylor – director of research with National Seniors Australia
  • Queenie Tran – architectural designer and access consultant
  • Sally Coddington – director of Curb Cut Effect and marketing consultant
  • Nicholas Loder – architect
  • Dr Jane Bringolf – project manager liveable communities with COTA NSW and researcher in universal design

For more information on the Centre for Universal Design Australia click here.

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