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Invitation to Paper Submission

Japan's first international conference on universal design (UD) was held in Yokohama in November 2002. The International Universal Design Declaration adopted on the final day defined UD as a way of creating a social environment that respects the humanity of every individual, and asserted that it was urgently necessary to rebuild the relationship between makers and users and thereby create a human-centered system that applies to all aspects of society. Since then, various people in various fields have conducted activities based on that declaration.

The next international conference, after Kyoto in 2006 and Hamamatsu in 2010, will be held in Fukuoka in 2012. At this conference, we will share new advances and developments that have taken place in UD-related research and practices in Japan and throughout the world. We will also engage in conversations aimed at realizing a higher-quality UD society.

The theme of this upcoming conference in 2012 is “Safety and Security – Thinking about the Foundations of Universal Design.” On the first day, keynote addresses and a panel discussion will be presented at an open symposium. Plenary or sub-sessions and other forums will be following on the next couple of days, where we expect lively discussions to take place.

Additionally, as described below, we are soliciting papers (reports, essays, research papers, etc.), from people active in various fields (industry, government, academia, civic activities, etc.), on subjects relating to UD activities or themes, and proposals for the further development of UD in the future. The papers that are ultimately selected can be presented by their authors at the conference. We hope to receive papers from a range of different people, including researchers, educators, product planners and developers, consultants, people involved in NPOs and other civic activities, students, and others. The 4th International Conference for Universal Design 2012 could thus be an opportunity for you to present your research results, or your efforts in product creation or practical affairs, to an international audience of experts and leaders in the field of UD.

Call for Papers

1. Papers being invited

Abstracts and full papers

  • Abstract Submission Closed: March 14, 2012
  • Deadline for receiving full papers: May 31, 2012 (The deadline for receiving full papers revised following their review is August 31.)

*Only those authors whose abstracts pass the review will be asked to submit a full paper.

2. Eligible Applicants

Anyone involved in research and development, or practical activities, related to universal design is eligible to apply. As they will be making presentations at the 4th International Conference for Universal Design 2012, to be held in October 2012, applicants whose abstracts pass the review are requested to complete registration to participate in the conference by July 31, 2012.

3. Schedule for Receiving and Reviewing Papers

Papers will be received and reviewed according to the schedule below. Any additional information that should become necessary will be posted on our website.

Mid-January 2012 Start of reception of abstracts
March 14 Deadline for receiving abstracts
March 14 Start of review of abstracts
March 14 Notification of review results, request for full papers (to those whose abstracts pass the review)
May 31 Deadline for receiving full papers
June 1 Start of review of full papers
July 15 Start of providing notifications of review results and requesting revisions of full papers
August 31 Deadline for receiving all papers
October 13-14 Presentations at the international conference

4. Points to Heed in Writing a Paper

When writing your paper, please bear in mind those of the following review criteria, topics, categories and keywords that pertain to it, and ensure that it deals with them appropriately.

Review Criteria

  1. Sustainable and Universal: The paper presents concepts and practices suitable for creating a sustainable, mutualistic society.
  2. Diversity and Inclusion: The paper shows an understanding of the diversity of traditions, cultures, lifestyles and people, and does not exclude minorities but rather expressly includes them; and thus contributes to realizing a qualitatively rich and happy way of life.
  3. Safe and Secure Society: The paper contributes to the construction of mechanisms, systems and morals appropriate to a society that protects human rights and respects the humanity of every individual.
  4. Spontaneous and Sustainable Dialogue: The paper serves to build ongoing exchanges and relationships between corporations, government, research institutions, NPOs, and citizens.
  5. Passing-on of Knowledge and Skills to the Next Generation: Through disseminating universal design and knowledge about it, the paper serves to cultivate individuals suited to lead the next generation.

Topics / Categories

  1. Universal Design in General (Concept, Philosophy, etc.)
  2. Architecture / Regional Planning (Urban Development, Public Space, Parks, etc.)
  3. Tourism / Mobility (Public Transportation, Automobiles, etc.)
  4. Housing / Household Equipment / Interior Design
  5. Commodities / daily life products / Industrial Design
  6. Package Design / Fashion Design
  7. Information and Communications / Broadcasting and Mass Media / Sign Design
  8. Software / System Design / Website Design
  9. Ergonomics / Human Engineering / Sensory Engineering / Other Types of Engineering and Technology
  10. Medical Care and Nursing / Hygiene and Sanitation / Social Welfare Services / Labor
  11. Environmental Protection / Ecology / Resources and Energy / Sustainable Design
  12. Education and Enlightenment / Culture / Ethics and Morality / Standards and Certification / Legislation
  13. Disaster Prevention and Rescue / Security and Public Safety / National Defense / International Goodwill / Development Assistance
  14. Protection of Human Rights / Administration of Justice / Mutualistic Society / Gender Equality
  15. Dietary Education and Food / Agriculture and Forestry / Livestock Industry / Fishing Industry / Industrial Development
  16. Distribution / Currency and Finance / Insurance / etc.


  1. Accessibility / Usability (Ease of Use)
  2. Barrier Free / Normalization
  3. Inclusive Design / Design for All
  4. Social Design / Social Marketing
  5. Human-centered Design / Human Interface
  6. MOD (Management of Design) / MOT (Management of Technology)
  7. Regional Management / Community / Super-aged Society
  8. Social Responsibility / Social Security / Philanthropy
  9. Diversity / Inclusion
  10. Humanity / Human Dignity / Human Rights / Fairness, Equality / Gap between Rich and Poor
  11. Functionality / Comfort / Cognition (Understandability)
  12. Global Warming / Conservation of Resource and Energy / 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)
  13. Safety and Security / Peace / International Contribution
  14. Other

5. Notes on the Abstracts and Full Papers to Be Submitted

Full papers:

  1. Individuals whose abstracts pass the review will be requested to submit a full paper.
  2. An English version of the full paper must be submitted. For purposes of the review and of putting together a collection of Japanese-language papers at a later date, submittal of a Japanese version will also be recommended.
  3. The text, photographs, illustrations, etc., of the full paper should be arranged on no more than 10 pages of the designated paper (A4 size).
  4. Information on the format required for the full paper will be available on the webpage mentioned in the email notification of the abstract review results.
  5. The contents of the full paper may not have been previously published.
  6. A collection of the abstracts will be distributed on a CD-ROM on the day of the conference. Following the conference, moreover, the full papers will be edited and then compiled and sold as a book or other publication. Please understand that the International Association for Universal Design will hold the copyrights to these publications.
  7. In August-September 2012, we will notify each author of the results of the full paper review along with the date of the presentation, and the type of presentation (oral or poster), to be provided by the author.
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UD2012 Secretariat
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Fax : +81-(0)45-901-8417
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