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Advanced Access Auditing Methodology (AAAM)
The Advanced Access Auditing Method is a new quantitative assessment tool for access auditing.

Download report here.

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Universal Mobility Index Pilot (Kensington 2011) Report
VDD has completed the report for the Universal Mobility Index Pilot which took place in Kensington, Melbourne.

Download report here.

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(Friday. August 31 and Saturday September 1, 2007), will be a forum and workshop that will discuss the issue of collective modes of transportation in relation to climate change and responsible urban development. Ralph Green joins other keynote speakers Prof Nicholas Low, Kenneth Davidson and Mick Douglas in this forum to bring together academics and community perspectives for a dialogue that reveals the magnitude and ramifications that transport has in our environment and every day life.
Program - Transported
Planning for a Healthy Built Environment
- Ralph's Abstract

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2007 Planning Institute Australia National Congress

Ralph Green, director of Visionary Design Development, will deliver an oral presentation at sight>lines<site, the Planning Institute of Australia's 2007 National Congress.

The presentation titled, "The Universal Mobility Index - a new tool to measure the accessibility of the built environment", will take place on Wednesday 2nd May 2007 at 4.35pm. More information on the PIA congress can be found at their website.

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21st February 2007 – South American Study-Promotional Tour Completed

Mary Ann and Ralph have spent the first week back in Melbourne following up on contacts made in the meetings organised with the assistance of AUSTrade. The UMI stimulated strong interest in the concept of measurement of the overall accessibility of the whole of the built environment. In particular in Lima, Peru and Bogotá, Colombia where ongoing discussions for possible pilots of the UMI concept are progressing.

28 January 2007 - UMI Latin America promotional tour generates keen interest

Now at the halfway point of their Latin American tour, Ralph and Mary Ann have been kept extremely busy by the number of organisations wishing to learn more about the Universal Mobility Index. The support and assistance of Austrade has been invaluable in the planning of this tour.

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Latin America Tour Gallery

January  16th 2007, meeting in Bogota Colombia with Arcangeles Rehabilitacion Integral.
Back Row (L to R): Mary Ann, Natalia, Ralph
Front Row (L to R): Eduardo, Juan Pablo, Edgar

January 23rd 2007
Rosita Carvajal, VDD translator and South America assistant with Mary Ann and Ralph in Lima, Peru
January 23rd 2007
With Dr Fernando Pilco of CONADIS, (background photo is Alan Garcia, President of Peru)

Thyago Miranda. Accessible Architects
Comité Accesibilidad y Diseño Universal
Santiago, Chile, 9th February
Rio De Janiero, 1st February
(L to R) Ralph, Dr Jorge Mascheroni, Mary Ann, Claudio Benardelli. CONADIS, Buenos Aires.
2007 South America UMI presentations
Country City Date Organisation
Colombia Bogota 15th Jan. Vice-presidencia de La Republica Programa de Discapacidad Tel 4442127
Fundacion para la Rehabilitación
    16th Jan. Federación Colombiana de Municipios
Secretaria Salud de Bogota
Fundacion Saldarriago Concha para la Discapacidad
Arcangels Rehabilitacion Integral Tel: 571 629 7077

Ecuador Quito 22th Jan. FENEDIF Tel: (593-2) 245 6088
Consejo Nacional de Discapacidades

Peru Lima 23rd Jan. CONADIS Tel: 332 0808
CENCA  Tel: (0051-1) 2 660012
Asociación De Municipalidades de Peru 242-7712
Colegio de Arquitectos del Peru 2654-4097
    24th Jan. SURQUILLO / OMAPED Tel: 241-0413 anexo 124
Disabled Peoples International Tel:511-221-7917

Argentina Buenos Aires 26th Jan. CONADIS Tel: 4334-0828/5096
    29th Jan. Fundacion Par Tel: 4772-8892
RAMPAS Tel: 4931-2110
    30th Jan. Fundacion Rumbos Tel: 4706-2769
Accesible.com.ar Tel: 4781-1066

Brazil  Rio de Janeiro 1st Feb. IBDD Tel: (+55 21) 3235 9290 ext. 221
    2nd Feb. Instituto Benjamin Constant Tel: (+55 21) 3478 4445

Chile Santiago 8th Feb. FONADIS Tel: 56-02-810 3922
Instituo de Estudios Urbanos y Territoriales
ANDDI - DPI CHILE Tel: 56-02-978 2105
    9th Feb. Comité Accesibilidad y Diseño Universal
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Urban Design Forum No. 76: December 2006
Universal Mobility Index – a world-first innovation

My Masters Thesis in Social Science (International Development) at RMIT University involves a unique approach to the study of disability by providing for the first time a conceptual framework on how physical access can be measured across the built environment. Anchored in the rights-based approach to social justice this composite quality-of-life indicator, the Universal Mobility Index (UMI) views people with disabilities from the perspective of the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Functioning Disease and Health as sanctioned by Disabled Peoples International.

An evolving canon of literature in the social sciences, international, human and community development disciplines relies on Composite Indices such as the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Index to communicate the status and change of complex systems. Much more than a rigorous academic exercise, the UMI has direct practical application illuminating how barriers to mobility discriminately constrain the autonomy of people with disabilities (PwDs), violating their human rights and compounding their oppression and stigmatisation. This new Index comparatively and longitudinally quantifies access for persons of all abilities to private dwellings, commercial buildings, public buildings and infrastructure for the first time across the total built environment reflecting the real life experience of denial of access. The unique methodology of the UMI empowers People with Disabilities drawn from within the local community by placing them at the centre of decision making on assessing and prioritising barrier removal. They remain actively involved in decision and are intimately involved during all phases and final outcomes.

In Victoria the concept of the UMI has generated considerable interest. Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs), Local Governments, Built Environment organisations and professional groups have all been extremely supportive. VDD is endeavouring to initiate pilot projects in partnership with progressive local governments and Disability Reference Groups (or equivalent) both in Australia and internationally. Due to in-house knowledge and skills VDD, in an international context, specifically want to team up with Latin American governments and disability organisations. Implementing a world-first series of pilot studies will demonstrate how innovative policy, practice and partnership can collaborate with key stakeholders to promote a new approach to promoting accessible communities resulting in increased participation of persons of all physical abilities.

Using the Universal Mobility Index will allow local governments and their authorities to:
• Assess what changes to the built environment persons with disabilities want to be made
• Prioritise these changes in accordance with the wishes of People with Disabilities
• Assess, reassess and longitudinally track their record of access provision
• Measure success, informing all stakeholders ...............

thereby improving and increasing opportunities for people with disabilities to participate and be included in all areas of community life.

The envisaged series of pilot studies will provide the platform on which to launch an elegant tool for a ‘whole of government approach’ to mobility within the built environment and, enhance prospects for people with disabilities to strengthen community membership, participation and inclusion.

Ralph Green, Director, Visionary Design Development

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Words@bld50 on 3rd August 2006 (see below) featured a presentation entitled “access all areas” by Optometrist and Social Science post-grad student Ralph Green, co-director of Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd – a business member of AfP. Ralph introduced an innovative concept he was working on that measures equity of access in the built environment.

The thesis which develops a theoretical and methodological framework for a “Universal Mobility Index” (UMI) is now complete and generating considerable interest from government, architects, planners, Disabled Peoples Organisations and building industry stakeholders as well as internationally.

The UMI is a unique tool to quantatively measure, compare and longtitudinally track equity of access provision across all parts of the built environment.

Uniquely, people with disabilities are empowered by placing them at the centre of decision making on identifying, measuring and prioritising removal of barriers.

The UMI also includes a policy rating component which probes and rates the inclusion of the views of people with disabilities in policy making affecting the built environment.

Ralph and Mary Ann Jackson, architect, planner, accredited access consultant and fellow co-director of VDD are about to embark on a speaking tour of South America, visiting six countries in all, during January and February 2007.

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Measuring Integration of Universal Design Principles in the Built Environment
Access all Areas

August 3rd 2006, 7pm

Designers working in the built environment need to be familiar with the Building Code of Australia regulations for access and egress to both commercial and residential buildings as well as the provisions of the disability Discrimination Act. Yet access for persons of differing physical abilities requires far greater considerations encompassing ranging from transport infrastructure to human rights agreements.

Can access be quantitatively measured and if so how? What could such a measure reveal comparatively about precincts, councils states and between nations? Could longitudinal studies guide progress? Can such a measure guide designers in prioritising the needs of the young, elderly injured and handicapped as well as improving the built environment for everyone including the able bodied?

Post-Graduate Social Science Research Student Ralph Green of Visionary Design Development presents an introduction to the theoretical and methodological concepts for a Universal Mobility Index to measure access to the built environment in developed and developing countries.
Come along to gain an insight into changing models of disability and the built environment.

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