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Universal Design for the Future

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Source of Funding: EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014
Program: NGO Project Measure (2009-2014)

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The project will focus on Universal Design as a new approach and a new way of thinking, that in the Western Europe has developed already for decades where instead Latvia have faced this term very recently. For Latvia this project is very important in terms of new building law which anticipate consultations from organisations represented by persons with disabilities as state delegated function. With help of this project we want to make step forward the government by training and educating competent and knowledgeable universal design and accessible environment experts, which is also one of the main purposes and result of this project. For organisations of people with disabilities this will be an opportunity to participate in decision making process and influence events thus promote quality of life of people with disabilities.
Overall aim of this project is to promote growth of welfare, strengthen democratic values and human rights in Latvia by creating understanding around Universal Design with a help of trained experts and multiplicators. This brings us to the direct aim of the project which is to develop the ideas of Universal Design (UD), educate and train UD experts as well as to make activities to promote UD in real live and real environment.
Main target group of this project are people with disabilities who will benefit the most from this project in long-term. But as a direct target group we can also consider representatives from local municipalities and professionals involved in the construction – builders, architects, designers etc.
The role of the project partner will be as giving support, consultations, as well as educate and forward good practice. Benefit from this partnership will be new, innovative knowledge and experience that can be used in a long-term.

Project results: The project aimed to develop a Universal Design (UD) ideas, educate and train UD experts, as well as implementation of UD activities in real life.

The target group was the social exclusion and poverty and at risk people, including 1000 people with disabilities. As well as NGOs representing the above groups of people's rights and interests, including 20 employees.

During the project, the results achieved:
• to develop a training program for "universal design expert training" is training model to include comprehensive topics that prepared the environmental availability of specialists with universal design (available to everyone) philosophy.
• "Universal design" training experts.
• Trained experts experience exchange visit to the Norwegian city of Kristiansand, where project partners offered extensive and informative programs on universal design with urban.
• The pool of experience-based advice and Norwegian partners was developed Universal design audit methodology with criteria of different categories, which helps evaluate an object, a building or urban compliance with both the requirements of Latvian legislation and best practice recommendations, as well as the Universal Design principles.
• The project trained a universal design / environment accessibility experts have provided (registered) including 179 consultations audits and surveys of objects on the ground.
• Project Final Conference - played for the disabled representative organizations as well as state and local authorities as well as professionals in order to create a discussion on environmental accessibility and the development of Latvian and Europe.

The original intention of the project was to create a long - term reproducible results, which successfully conducted. Nearly guests of trained experts have started negotiations with their governments about their service offering, considering the broad range of environmental, accessibility solutions. Through this project it was been possible environmental accessibility picking up a slightly higher level, talking already about universal design ideas. Project activities focused on people with disabilities, promoting equality and non-discrimination against this social group. Raising public and decision-makers awareness of people with disabilities to become equal members of the public were given the fight against poverty and social exclusion. Creating an accessible environment, it facilitates access to employment, provides mobility and equal access to health care, education, and skills development. However, social sustainability is also linked to mutual understanding and tolerance, which is largely paid attention to this project.

Supported by the EEA Grants. Case number: LV03. Programme name: „NGO fund”

Project number: 2013.EEZ/PP/1/MAC/050
Project approval date: 09.07.2014.
Project contract date: 05.11.2014.
Status of the project: Pabeigts
Name of Project Promoter: An organisation of people with disabiltiies and their friends „Apeirons”
Type of Project Promoter: Association/Foundation
Name of project partner: Norvēģijas neredzīgo un vājredzīgo asociācijas, Vest-Agder filiāle
Project implementation region(s): Whole Latvia
Project duration, months: 18
Total eligible costs (Programme co-financing and Project Promoter’s contribution): 96078.82 EUR / 67 524.58 LVL;
Programme co-financing (EEA Grants – 95%): 82147.39 EUR / 57 733.51 LVL;
Programme co-financing (State budget – 5%): 4323.55 EUR / 3 038.61 LVL;
Project Promoter’s contribution: 9607.88 EUR / 6 752.46 LVL;
Legal address: Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela 38 k-1, Rīga, LV-1010
Phone No.: 67299209

Link to a website of the EEA Grants Managing Authority in Latvia:
Link to a website of the EEA Grants Financial Mechanism Office: