Why Universal Design AND Education? 


Higher education is transforming across the globe to meet the challenge of our diverse population of learners. Higher education can learn from the principals and practice of Universal Design and Universal Design can learn from the research, concepts, perspectives, challenges, and practices that have been developed within the higher education community. 

Over the past five decades, we have gathered enough knowledge, skills and understanding to give sensible answers in solving everyday problems. We need to make diversity a key factor in selling and promoting design and education, by discussing the complex interactions and the avoidable risks. It is a global and national imperative to adopt policies that embrace and embed the principles of Universal Design in all facets of higher and further education provision.

Considering the diverse needs and abilities of all throughout the design process, universal design creates products, services, technologies and environments that meet peoples' needs. Simply put, universal design is good design. We want to embrace diversity in all aspects of design and education, so policy makers, politicians, architects and educators become advocates and proponents for the implementation of Universal Design. People come in all shapes and sizes with a broad range of abilities and disabilities. In other words the ‘average person’ does not exist. Designers and educators who design and create taking on board the needs and preferences of everybody instead of designing for the average person will not only reach a much bigger audience but also make the experience more engaging and enjoyable for all.

In UDHEIT2018 we will explore the common themes of design and diversity as we examine the strategic direction of Higher Education, engage with our communities, and embrace new methods of learning and new design to meet diverse needs. 

We welcome paper and workshop submissions covering a broad range of areas including:


  • Academic or professional education on the design, related research and the development of products, services, environments or technologies

  • Designing higher and further education systems and institutions

  • Curriculum design and pedagogy Design – industry practitioners, across a wide range of disciplines

  • Implementation of legislation, policies or standards for products, services, environments or technologies

© 2018 UDHEIT


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