5/30/2008 - The Global Universal Design Commission held its Inaugural Meeting in Syracuse, NY
This new organization has formed to develop a voluntary consensus Standard for designers and developers to follow to receive recognition for going beyond mandatory accessibility requirements (the recognized base) to develop truly universally-designed buildings and facilities. The Standard will be developed incrementally over the next few years with an early release version slated for later this year. The process will work very similarly to the US Green Building Council's LEED program except that it will give credits for Universal Design features.
To accomplish that, they have enlisted the help of Mike Italiano who co-founded the USGBC and who spoke at the Inaugural Meeting about how the process will work. Among the very notable Council members behind the effort are John Lancaster, Executive Director of the National Council on Independent Living, Peter Blanck, Chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse Univ., Graham Hill, member of the National Council for Disability, and Ed Steinfeld, Director of the IDEA Center at SUNY Buffalo. Serving in a less active roll, but also involved in the process is Luis Gallegos, Ecuador's Ambassador to both the United States and the United Nations who helped to shepherd the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities through the UN this past year. For more information on this initiative, go to http://www.globaluniversaldesign.org/ and/or Register here to receive email updates as new developments happen with the GUDC Standard.