Brazil Takes Leadership on Universal Design

http://www.benetech.orgUniversal Design by Silvana Cambiaghi

Image by srains via Flickr

I consider it highly significant that Brazil - specifically the State of Sao Paulo - has packed the month of October with an endless array of events related to disability, travel, and Universal Design. This notice of Peter Blanck addressing the third international Meeting on Technology and Innovation for Persons with Disabilities with participation by Benetech and other world leaders is a sign of recognition of the pioneering work of colleagues Marcelo Guimaraes at UFMG and architect Silvana Cambiaghi together with the 2004 jumpstart given by the Institute for Human Centered Design

At a global conference Oct. 24-26 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, University Professor Peter Blanck, chairman of theBurton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University, and key partners will highlight how the Global Universal Design Commission (GUDC) is leading an unprecedented effort to build support for the voluntary adoption of universal design (UD).

Created to widen the concept of accessibility, the UD principles transcend the disability universe, considering other populations with needs, such as aging baby boomers. The UD approach advocates that all built environments and products be useable by all people.

Blanck, along with University trustee and BBI board member Joshua H. Heintz L'69, and his law partner, William J. Gilberti Jr., founded the GUDC to create UD standards--consensus-based, innovative performance guidelines that go beyond minimal compliance with law and provide ease of use to all. The GUDC standards are modeled on the green standards for the built environment, designating a level of accreditation for a project based on its usability, safety, health and inclusiveness.

At the third international Meeting on Technology and Innovation for Persons with Disabilities, Blanck will deliver the keynote address on "Universal Design in the World." James Schmeling, interim executive director of the GUDC and managing director of SU's Institute for Veterans and Military Families, will present on "Universal Design in the Civil Construction Industry."

"The GUDC's presence at the conference comes at an important time. Brazil is considering adoption of GUDC standards to guide development for its 2014 World Cup facilities and its 2016 Olympics and Paralympics," says Blanck. "Brazil's interest is an exciting development, and we hope it will bring international attention to the importance of the GUDC standards."

In addition to Brazil, BBI and the GUDC are collaborating with other university, corporate and government leaders to promote adoption of the standards. For instance, Procter & Gamble is partnering with the GUDC to focus on implementing the standards in its built environment and workforce policies; Greiner Hall, a residence hall at the University of Buffalo, used the UD standards; and Syracuse University College of Law's new building committee is considering using the standards.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Recent Entries

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Takes Action to Make Websites and Kiosks Accessible to Air Travelers with Disabilities
   The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), in its ongoing effort to ensure equal access to air transportation for all…
Travel in Barbados: Words on the Future of Caribbean Travel
Image via WikipediaBonnie Leonce has published a warm article on my Barbados trip here on page 8: Inclusive TourismThe Barbados Council or…
Malaysia's integrated transport terminal commended for being disabled friendly
The new Bandar Tasik Selatan integrated transport terminal (ITT) has achieved a 75% score on disabled-friendliness from a recent audit…
Bruce Cameron & Simon Darcy Top 10 destinations for people with disabilities in the world
Image by srains via FlickrTourism operators worldwide have begun catering for an increasing group of travellers, those with disabilities and the…
On Isabele Ducharme and Keroul
When Isabelle Ducharme travels in Quebec, she doesn't leave home without her handy map of the Accessible Road.Ducharme has been…
Disability and Environmental Activism in Tourism: Marco Antonio Bonilla (Spanish)
Marco Antonio Bonilla es um promoter ambiental en Chapultepec.…
Jani Nayar and Michell Haase on Travel with Children
From with children is difficult, but when children have wheelchairs or communication problems, it can be overwhelming for parents…
Inclusive Tourism Is Promoted in Barbados
From are 650 million tourists with disabilities in the world and a significant number of those want to see…