IAUD 6th Medium-Term Activity Plan

1. Basic Matters

(1) IAUD Principles

Through the realization of further dissemination of universal design (UD), we will contribute to the sound development of society and aim for a society where all people can live in peace by communicating widely to the world about UD originate in Japan.

(2) IAUD Vision

We aim to create a society where as many people as possible can live in comfort with ease and free of any sense of inconvenience due to differences in ethnicity, culture, customs, religion, nationality, gender, age or ability. To achieve this, IAUD will promote activities from the following three perspectives

  1. Establishment of a UD foundation for society as a whole
  2. Raising awareness of human rights in corporate activities and provision of UD products and services on that basis
  3. Fostering the development of a UD climate for all people

2. The 6th IAUD Medium-Term Activity Plan

This 6th IAUD Medium-Term Activity Plan (April 2023 - March 2027) is an activity agenda for the next four years that aims for further growth and development in light of achievement of the 5th IAUD Medium-Term Activity Plan drafted in FY2019. In order to decide on a roadmap for Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the UN to be implemented and a new landmark after the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan. IAUD will further increase our presence as we continue to endeavor to make UD more widely known in Japan and overseas and achieve the goals of UD as an organization that aims “to create safe and secure social environment in which the characteristics of each person are respected.” Therefore, we believe greater efforts and attainments are expected of us during this period.

(1) Review of the 5th IAUD Medium-Term Activity Plan

The pneumonia of unknown cause reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, later named COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection), spread worldwide and caused extensive damage to the lives and health of many people. Furthermore, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022, has not only plunged the Ukrainian people into fear and uncertainty, but has also had a negative impact on the world economy and the international order. In Japan, the concept of security and national defence to protect the lives and property of the people is being reviewed. Over the past three years, two threats of epidemics and the war have played havoc with international community, resulting in the loss of many lives, violations of human rights and shaking the very foundations of people's social life. This is a major obstacle that prevents the realization of the universal design society that IAUD envisions, and it can be said that we are facing the difficult question of how to respond to these threats in the future. With this recognition, we assessed the achievement of the 5th IAUD Medium-term Activity Plan (April 2019 – March 2023) in formulating the 6th Medium-Term Action Plan. Results of this assessment are as follows:

  1. Establishment of a UD foundation in society as a whole: On the occasion of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Universal Design 2020 Action Plan was formulated and the government policy was that the universal design of public facilities, etc. should be preserved as a legacy after the Games. It can be said that IAUD's efforts played a certain role in this and we believe that UD infrastructure development has been steadily progressing.
    However, we are now at a new stage where we must take UD in a broad sense, including the crisis of pandemic of Covid-19 and the concepts of security and national defence exposed the war in Ukraine and incorporate it into the infrastructure development of society as a whole.
  2. Provision of UD products and services by companies and organizations: Many tangible results in development are being achieved particularly in manufacturing industries that produce electrical devices, cars, equipment for home use, etc. with the quality of these products improving year by year. It is thought that bestowals of the IAUD International Design Award (formerly known as the IAUD Award) have greatly contributed to this, and the concept of Universal Design is also being spread from large companies to small and medium sized companies and also to tertiary industries such as the service, financial, and insurance industries.
    However, there has been a slowdown in the development of products and services in some companies, possibly due to a misperception that Universal Design (UD) is already outdated and not cutting-edge concept. There are also considerable turbulence and confusion in the business field, with some companies facing sanctions such as international trade suspensions for human rights violations at their suppliers and in their supply chains. IAUD believes that these problems could have been prevented if UD had been understood at the ideological level as protection of human rights and respect for humanity are fundamental concepts underlying UD. In this sense, it is necessary to encourage the industry as a whole to dispel misconceptions about UD and promote essential understanding and normative behaviour based on it.
  3. Fostering a UD climate for people in general: With the enactment of the Universal Society Realization Promotion Act and Amendment of Act for Eliminating Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities, we can say that people in general are gradually developing an understanding of the concept and importance of UD. In terms of the understanding of LGBT people and understanding and attitudes towards the advancement of disabled people and women in society, the level of awareness of consumers is improving significantly and the state and the business community have not yet caught up , so further cooperation with consumers is expected to improve these issues.

(2) Activity Principle - Plan for New Growth in IAUD

Following on with our efforts in the 6th IAUD Medium-Term Activity Plan, we have formulated the following activity agenda as a plan for new growth for realizing the IAUD principles and visions, bearing in mind the achievement of the 5th IAUD Medium-Term Activity Plan.

  1. We will actively promote initiatives that will take UD from the “research” and “dissemination” stage to the “realization” stage. We will do this not only through initiatives in UD products and services but also through research themes and dissemination activities for establishing social systems and a UD foundation that transcends industrial sectors and, based on these initiatives, we will make specific proposals to and cooperate with foreign governments, central government, and local governments.
  2. Bearing in mind our experience and achievements in holding the International Conference 8 times, we will position the International Conferences as our main projects and aim to hold a conference every fiscal year as an activity for dissemination and communicating the achievements of UD activities in Japan and other countries. Regardless of the size of the event, we will carefully examine the details of the event and preliminary preparations, while holding a lot of discussions with local governments that are keen to promote UD as potential host cities. At the same time, we will continue to foster voluntary activities in areas such as certifications, International Design Awards and workshops. As we engage in these activities, we will operate and develop as a general foundation for the time being to establish a solid financial base. In events where a lot of people gather, it is necessary to take action to prevent the spread of infection by using appropriate way of holding, online or offline formats, depending on the situation at the time. It is also necessary to change the type of the event from domestic and regional events to networked international ones, depending on the occasion.

(3) Action Plan

IWith regard to the 6th Medium-Term Activity Plan, we have formulated the following action plans as new growth plans to achieve IAUD principles and vision.

  1. Basic Activities
    • Research and development: Promote UD project research through cooperation with external organizations and specialists
    • Dissemination of activity results: Improve official website, expand public relations by utilizing all kinds of media
    • Development of volunteer activities: Develop projects and increase recognition of IAUD such as the 48-hour Design Marathon, the IAUD International Design Award, UD facility certification, UD Certification, etc.
  2. Priority Activities
    • International UD Conferences: As a core business of IAUD, we will hold as many conferences as possible every year, whether held domestic or overseas. Regardless of the format of the “international conference,” or its size, it will be developed in accordance with the time and occasion, such as only holding a symposium/seminar or an exhibition.
      We will consider holding the events in overseas countries including rapidly developing countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and in EU countries headed to become super-aged societies.
      We will consider holding domestic-based events in major cities including Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, and Sapporo, and municipalities of regional cities which are passionate about attracting/holding international UD conferences.
  3. Reinforcement Activities
    • International cooperation: Strengthen cooperation with overseas UD educational and research organizations/associations, and UN agencies.
    • Domestic cooperation: Increase cooperation with government agencies, local governments, educational and research institutions, academic societies, professional associations, associations for the disabled, NPOs, etc.
    • Operating System: Establish a solid organizational framework as a general foundation

*Universal Design (UD): Designing living environments, architecture, equipment, systems, services, etc., with the intention from the beginning to be accessible to as many people as possible. At IAUD, we go one step further and believe that the essence of Universal Design is "creating a safe and secure social environment that respects the humanity of each individual"

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