Workshops

Workshop A: Interpretation and reputation of universal design
Workshop B: Inclusive Building Traditions
Workshop C: Methods for co-design with disabled and older people
Workshop D: Learning about Universal Design by means of a Massive Open Online Course on Accessibility (MOOCA)

Workshop A: Interpretation and reputation of Universal design
Leader: Åse Kari Haugeto, Head of the The Delta Centre. The Delta Centre is the national resource centre for accessibility and social inclusion, within the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs

In this workshop the participants will be challenged to investigate their own understanding of universal design, together with the common understanding both in their profession – and their country.
The workshop is divided into two parts:
1. Interpretation
In the first part we will discuss how universal design is interpreted differently along countries and professions, and whether it is preferable to find a common interpretation. The interpretation varies a lot, and the definitions are many. However, the meaning behind is more important than which wrapping you chose.
In this workshop the audience will be invited to challenge their understanding of universal design and how it is prioritized. We will look into what people view as universal design, and how policies affect their understanding. The participants will be challenged to review their own prejudices, and discuss how to use their knowledge to broaden the common understanding.
2. Reputation
In the second part we will continue the conceptual discussion, with a main focus on the diverse reputation of universal design. On one hand, universal design is a positive vision and strategy to make an inclusive society. On the other hand we sometimes experience that the public view universal design as an expensive attribute.
In this workshop the audience will be invited to contribute in preparing a strategy for improving the reputation of universal design. We will discuss how to make an intervention positive, and challenge the understanding of universal design as a costly investment. One key question will be how we can make universal design to be more than an attribute for people with disabilities.

Workshop B: Inclusive Building Traditions
Leader: Christiaan Zandstra, UIA Architecture for All Work Programme, The Netherlands

People, particularly disabled people, may face barriers in new buildings but they face them most often in historic buildings. Historic buildings were built when accessibility did not play the role that it now plays. Historic buildings often possess values, which we wish to maintain. We inherit our heritage from the past. The interventions we undertake to improve accessibility will be the heritage we pass on to the future. In this respect accessibility must be seen as a qualitative aspect of our built environment. Making monuments and historical buildings as accessible as possible for all is one of the great challenges our generation faces.

In what way can heritage express an inclusive culture? How can we establish accessibility principles which can be applied to our built heritage at an international level? How can we offer an integrated heritage experience for all without destroying the special characteristics of our historic buildings and places? How can we enrich our heritage to make it as accessible as possible?

The workshop aims:
– to improve the knowledge and experience of architects, designers, managers and stakeholders of architectural barriers
– to contribute to an understanding of the issues, from both the conservation and users perspective
– to explore a methodological approach to finding solutions
– to have a lasting impact on the participants and to promote inclusive design practices in the historical built environment
– to measure the awareness of issues connected to accessibility of the participants.

The workshop will take place in the Central Methodist Church in York. Transport before and after the workshop will be provided. After a short introduction, the participants will be divided in groups and will be asked to fulfil a task in the historical building while temporally experiencing a disability (for example using a wheelchair, being blindfolded or using an age simulation suit). Each group will be accompanied by someone with daily experience of disability and barriers. At the end of the first part the experiences in using the historical building will be discussed. In the second part of the workshop the participants will learn about the special features of the building from a historical and conservation perspective. After this the groups are asked to come up with solutions for the barriers they experienced in the first part of the workshop. At the end of the second part the groups present the solutions they invented to each other and the members of the UIA Architecture for All Work Programme, after which the solutions will be discussed.
During the workshop groups of participants may be filmed and interviewed to give an account of their experience.

Workshop C: Methods for co-design with disabled and older people
Leader: Helen Petrie, Professor of Human Computer Interaction, University of York

The aim of this workshop is to share knowledge, experiences and best practice in how we work collaboratively with disabled and older people in the development of universal designs and assistive technologies. Participants will initially be invited to make short, informal presentations about their own experiences of researching and co-designing with older and disabled people. We will then discuss how to develop a corpus of best practice for exiting methods and what new methods and innovations are needed. One route may be to create a “Handbook of Research and Co-Design with Disabled and Older People”.

Workshop D: Learning about Universal Design by means of a Massive Open Online Course on Accessibility (MOOCA)
Leader: Jenny Darzentas, Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Product and Systems Design Engineering, University of the Aegean, Greece and member of the MOOCA Partnership Project

The focus of this workshop is learning about Universal Design by means of a MOOC. It is addressed to educators and students of Universal Design, as well as to design professionals. This is because there is ‘something for everyone’ in this workshop and its topic, since with a MOOC:
· educators can explore new models of UD learning and understand how they might adapt them for their teaching needs,
· students can enrol on free courses to supplement their UD lectures and coursework materials,
· design professionals can update their existing UD knowledge or further expand their UD skills without leaving the workplace for traditional training.

Using as a basis the European Erasmus+ funded project MOOCA, this workshop will introduce you to current thinking about research and practice into new ways of learning, as well give you the chance to sample some of the MOOCA materials. In group sessions, we will work on some selected issues in order to exchange opinions and experiences on what works, what helps, what needs care.