First Universal Design Information and Research Center of Hungary
In 2013 the first Universal Design Information and Research Center of Hungary was opened. The Center was established by a grassroot DPO in Budapest with the financial support of the Office of the State Secretary for Social, Ministry of Human Resources and with the support of other private stakeholders.
The Center is located in one of the Conference Venue and Event Centers of Budapest which serves also as a shopping center.
The aim of the Universal Design Centre is to exhibit and show commercially available mainstream products, services and applications that meet the also the needs of persons with different kinds of disabilities. The Center raises awareness through different information tools on the human rights and economic aspects of the universal design concept.
The Center is not only a showroom for universal design products but serves also as a live office providing conditions necessary for effective and efficient employment for persons with disabilities. It is equipped with products and applications that meet the criteria of universal design and therefore are suitable for everyone, including the employees with visual, hearing and physical disabilities of the Center. The design of the Center makes it possible for people with disabilities to get into it, to do work and training on equal basis with others.
The work of employees is assisted e.g. by ergonomic and adjustable furniture (shelves, chairs, tables) that can be used by anyone, since their height is reachable by anyone and can easily be removed. Footrests with height and angle adjustable are placed under the desks, in line with workers’ needs.
Communication of the staff is supported by e.g. a mainstream smartphone providing voice guided navigation for people with visual impairment and usable also for people with hearing impairment who can connect an induction loop with the headphone jack of the smartphone.
The range of universally designed products is brilliantly complemented by special equipment, e.g. by inductions loops installed both on the ceiling and at the information desk to filtering the background noise thus providing opportunities equal to others for the Center’s staff members, guests and clients with hearing disabilities.
The above examples are illustrative, around thirty types of equipment is demonstrated in the Center and many more on its web page.
Conference room no. 7 of the Conference and Event Center has also been equipped according to the universal design aspects. The conference room is rented by any audience.
Web page of the Universal Design Information and Research Center (www.etikk.hu) fully corresponds to the international standards, thus providing access for everybody. The web page introduces the concept of universal design, compiles guidelines and research works in this field.
Users’ test group
The Center has created a users’ test group for the product and service designers, the group is composed of persons with different types and severity of disability. The goal is to increase the number of designers who involves users’ group from the onset in their design work.
The Center has signed a co-operation agreement with two universities: Budapest Technical University Department of Psychology and Ergonomics and Gustav Bárczi Faculty of Special Education. More co-operation agreements are underway.
Sine December 2013 students of the Budapest Technical University have practical lessons in the Center. Future architects, product and transport engineers work together with the users’ group of the Center on different developments(eg.possible development of 9 Budapest interchanges in the field of info-communication accessibility, development of a personal calendar, etc.)
The Center is supported by the national and regional federations of persons with different disabilities and made co-operation agreements with all the member organisations of the National of Persons with Disabilities (FESZT) which is an umbrella organisation of associations of persons with intellectual, visual, hearing, mobility, deaf-blind, autistic disabilities as well as people with transplants.
The Center provides several services, e.g. councelling services in universal design and accessibility (see our services section).
Some photos at “Etikk”