Brisbane Square, Access Consulting, Architecture & Access

Developing an effective method to evaluate the application of Universal Design in the built environment

Architecture & Access in collaboration with a multidisciplinary research team at Deakin University is working on a project entitled ‘Developing an effective method to evaluate the application of Universal Design in the built environment.’

There is currently no consistently applied method or industry standard for evaluating the application of Universal Design (UD) to the design of built environments in Australia or internationally.

This project has collected data from a range of stakeholders, including; industry professionals, policy makers, government officials, academics and building users, including people who experience disability.

Methods used to collect the data have been via online survey and in-depth interviews regarding the evaluation of UD. The data collection is nearly finalised with a very healthy response to the survey (n= 157) and over 80 requests for an interview.

Preliminary data analysis indicates that of the 157 online survey responses, 53% male and over half of the respondents had a lived experience of disability or illness (59%).  The common professional groups represented were project managers (30%), academics (24%) and access consultants (17%).

When compared with other respondents, respondents who identified as access consultants had significantly higher self-rated current knowledge of Universal Design principles, goals and application.

The key informant interviews will be completed over the next two weeks.

Further findings from this research will be presented by Cathryn Grant of Architecture & Access at the ACAA Conference currently under way in Brisbane.

For further information you are welcome to contact Valerie Watchorn, Project Leader (valerie.watchorn@deakin.edu.au), or Cathryn Grant (cgrant@archaccess.com.au) from Architecture & Access.

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