Universal Design Guide

Download the Paralympics  Australia  Universal Design Guide for Creating Inclusive Sport in Australia.

With the ramp up to the Brisbane 2032 Olympics well underway, we have seen and increasing number of calls from sporting organisations and venues keen to achieve higher standards of accessibility and inclusivity. With high level of recognition and trust among everyday Australians, blown away by the achievements of our Paralympians, Paralympics Australia is ready to lead a new era in what an inclusive Australia could look like.

Development approach

One of our key strategic goals is to increase access to sports and opportunities via universal, inclusive, and accessible design principles, aimed at promoting accessibility, inclusivity, and equal opportunities within the realm of sports and recreation.

Paralympics Australia engaged Ellis Jones to commence the progressive development of a comprehensive design strategy that incorporates universal design principles, and which will ultimately enhance access to sports facilities, documentation, training, and learning and development for people with a disability.

The initial strategic framing of the project covered several important considerations such as: what role should the organisation play as a progenitor of universal design; where should Paralympics Australia look to extend and deepen its own adoption of universal design; and, what behaviour-informed strategies would be required for motivating sports organisations to use the guide.

Project activity comprised:

  • Benchmarking universal design best practice through a literature review and assessment of available resources.
  • Interviews with leading sports organisation representatives in different roles and codes.
  • Modelling and reporting on research outcomes.
  • Writing and designing a ‘how to’ guide with supporting materials.

Project outcome

The Universal Design Guide for Creating Inclusive Sport in Australia can act as a valuable reference for sports representative bodies adopting inclusive practices, as well as sports clubs and venues that want to get started on the journey.

The guide addresses structural, process and attitudinal barriers to inclusivity and universal design and comprises:

  • Definitions of accessibility, inclusivity and universal design
  • How to adopt an inclusive mindset and language
  • Motivating case studies
  • Focus activities for universal design
  • Practical guides for: hosting a universal design kick-off meeting, developing inclusive strategy, producing accessible documentation, and designing accessible inclusive digital experiences.

A ‘living document’, through user testing, the guide will be refined and updated as Paralympics Australia builds its presence and activity to make Australian sport accessible and inclusive.

Importantly, this work is a key means by which Australia is meeting the commitment it made to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Download the Paralympics  Australia  Universal Design Guide for creating Inclusive Sport in Australia.

Use it. Share it. And if you have feedback, let us know. Let’s improve it.

This guide was developed as part of the Paralympics Australia ParaPower Mentoring Program ILC Grant funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.