Design for ALL: Required capabilities for educators to include the D4ALL (Design for all) principles within current teaching practices

Scientific Coordinator: Cesare Sangiorgi

Sector: Higher Education

Unibo structure involved: Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering

Unibo Team: Annalena Esposito; Vanessa Valisella

Project Duration in months: 35
Start Date: 01/09/2017 
End Date: 31/07/2020

Budget: 187.941 euro



People with disabilities represent 80 million persons in the European Union (more than 15% of the population), the equivalent to the population of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary and the Netherlands combined. This means there are over 80 million people who are often unable to fully participate in society and the economy due to physical or social barriers. It is essential that people with disabilities participate fully in economic and social life to generate a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Providing training to future professionals in matters of disability is a way to establish the bases of an inclusive society that undoubtedly would imply a great advance in inclusion and equality. Hence, an innovative project aimed at raising equality and improving the future conditions of people in a situation of disability, needs to be focused on the training of tomorrow professionals, empowering university students for the future changing ecosystem. Bringing these challenges closer to universities is the best way to ensure considerable improvements in the well being of people with disabilities in the near future.

In order to bring the societal challenges faced by people with disabilities closer to universities and in line with European Regulations, it is necessary to complement the programmes of the different university degrees with training courses on the specific needs people in any situation of disability may have in every societal aspect taking into consideration the “design for all" (D4ALL) and Universal Accessibility concepts, in a way of ensuring that environments, products, services and interfaces work for people of all ages and

abilities. In so doing, it is hoped that graduates and future professionals will become sensitive to these issues and act as advocates of the needs of the people with disabilities within their chosen sphere of activity.

The ONCE Foundation, has been committed to ensure the social inclusion of people with disabilities since 1988. Over its three decades of existence, the ONCE Foundation has become a national and international benchmark in the struggle to place people with disabilities on an equal footing with their fellow citizens.

ONCE Foundation, as coordinator of the project will work together with the following universities:

UFV –Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (SPAIN)

UNIBO-University of Bologna (ITALY)

BUL –Brunel University London (UK)

UCL –University College of London (UK)

The main objective of the project is:

To provide educational institutions with the required tools and knowledge for compliance with the fundamental principles of design for all, enshrined in the European Regulations, thus enabling educators to train future representatives of society on how to address the challenges of people with disabilities empowering them within the various professional activities they’ll develop in the future.

EDUCA4ALL project has been conceived to be carried out according the following methodology:

First phase:

1. Design of technical D4ALL self assessment guide ONCE Foundation

2. Formation of a "task force" in each university

3. Webinar training in D4ALL for the task forces

4. Review of Arch. and Civil Eng. educational programmes with the implementation of the Self Assessment guides in the 4 pilot


5. Development of report including results, conclusions and recommendations

Second phase:

1. Development of a D4ALL skills profile for educators in Arch. and Civil Eng. Degrees.

2. Definition of module 1, 2, 3 of the teachers training course. (Common, specific and practical training)

3. Review of the training course with educational associations and institutions

Third phase:

1. Implementation of the D4ALL training course for educators in the 4 pilot universities

2. Preparation of the material and practices by educators

3. Pilots 1, 2, 3 and 4-Implementation of tools and knowledge acquired by educators in real training environment with students

4. Evaluation/Documentation of training courses and corrective actions

Fourth phase:

1. Review Arch. and Civil Eng. D4ALL educational programmes proposal developed by ONCE in the past

2. Analysis of the current EU directives and recommendations

3. Adaptation (EU Level) and update of the main aspects of D4ALL educational programmes developed by ONCE in the past

4. Contact with EU educational institutions and stakeholders

5. Analysis and exposure of the progress made during the project´s activities

6. Study of methodology to implement all the D4ALL training courses within the Arch. and Civil Eng. existing programmes

7. Develop a formative new strategy proposal through a D4ALL educational programme to implement in EU Universities

8. Impact analysis and conclusions, assessment and corrective actions

EDUCA4ALL project will stablish a European collaborative networking group with proven expertise in fostering the implementation

of D4ALL educational programmes in Universities, open to collaborate with other relevant agents.

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union