Universal Design in the Irish Context

Dr Ger Craddock, Chief Officer, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design

I am delighted to present the proceedings for the inaugural international conference "Universal Design for the 21st Century: Irish and International Perspectives", which marked the launch of the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD).

The CEUD was established as part of the National Disability Authority under the Disability Act 2005. The Centre is dedicated to the principle of universal access, enabling people in Ireland to participate in a society that takes account of human difference and to interact with their environment to the best of their ability.

The Centre aims to promote the achievement of excellence in Universal Design in Ireland by contributing to the development and promotion of Universal Design standards, working with the relevant bodies to ensure Universal Design is built into training and education for the appropriate professions, and promoting awareness and understanding of Universal Design in Ireland.

The conference welcomed speakers from Ireland and abroad, who presented information on a range of issues and initiatives relating to Universal Design. The presentations and workshops covered international and national developments in the areas of the built environment, product design, information and communications technology, and design education, as well as outlining potential areas for future work.

The aim of the event was to promote awareness and understanding of Universal Design, as well as stimulate discussion and exchange of information.