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Tag: design for all

The poor often pay more …

  • For food: Since they need to shop in nearby stores where prices are often higher.
  • For housing: Due to the lack of social homes, people with low income are forced to move into privately rented accommodation where they pay too much for a house of poor quality.
  • For energy: Since they often live in houses that are less energy-friendly or because they cannot afford energy-saving investments
  • For health care: Social determinants show a link between poverty and inferior health as a doctor’s consult is often postponed for cost reasons.
  • For loans: Since the less creditworthy pay higher interest rates. Provided they qualify for a loan,…
  • etc.

Community Service Engineering believes engineers and their analytical skills could contribute significantly to breaking the vicious cycle of poverty.

We go into this topic at the third conference in the pre-programme of Community Service Engineering.

More information on this webpage or in our folder.

Participation is free. Registration can be done via this link.

This is the schedule for Thursday 4th of September:

  • 18.30 h: Registration
  • 19.00 h: Word of Welcome – prof. dr. ir. Bart Vanrumste (KU Leuven) – Community Service Engineering
  • 19.10 h: Poverty: a multidimensional problem and policy challenge – prof. dr. Frank Vandenbroucke (KU Leuven)
  • 19.50 h: A view by an expert in the field of ‘Poverty’ – Henk Van Hootegem (Interfederal Support Centre for Poverty Reduction)
  • 20.30 h: Case 1 : Sustainable energy for families in poverty – Griet Verbeeck (UHasselt)
  • 20.50 h: Case 2 : Web application REMI may allow uniformity in additional financial allowances – dr. Bérénice Storms (Thomas More – Cebud)
  • 21.10 h: Round table discussion in the auditorium

You are expected at 18.30 in the Auditorium Oude Molen, Kasteelpark Arenberg 50, 3001 Heverlee. We hope to meet you there!

Best regards,

Inge Vervoort

Project Director Community Service Engineering

Please join us:

You can find all presentations and pictures of the first two conferences:

  1. Conference on the topic of ‘Ageing’ that took place on April 3th via this link.
  2. Conference on the topic of ‘Living with a disability’ that took place on May 21th via this link.

Community Service Engineering (CSE) is a continuing education curriculum of KU Leuven that lasts for 8 months (October 2014 – May 2015) for graduated engineers (or nearly graduated engineering students that only still need to finish their master’s thesis).More information on the CSE curriculum:

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need more information.

Dear engineer,

There is a lot of ‘innovation potential’ in the social profit sector. That potential does not always emerge today because engineers and the sector do not know each other (well enough). Engineers could contribute significantly to the adequate implementation of existing solutions and services on the market in this sector. Furthermore they could play an important role in regard to topics such as the accessibility of public space, buildings, websites, media,…

That is why KU Leuven is organising a postgraduate course in ‘Community Service Engineering’ in collaboration with Thomas More.

We invite you to ‘the pre-programme’ that wants to show the potential of this domain. It consists of three conferences. The topics are:


You can register for one or more conferences. Participation is free but registration is required and can be done via this website: or link.

All details can be found in the invitation that is downloadable here.

Inge Vervoort
Project Director Community Service Engineering

Thomas More and KU Leuven are organising together a course “Community Service Engineering” that focuses on the societal role of technology.

We would like to introduce it to you:
This programme is a collaboration between Thomas More and KU Leuven. It starts for the first time in October 2013 and will run until April 2014 (30 ECTS credits).

Graduated masters of Engineering Science (Architects), Technology, BioScience and Business Engineers have fathomed the technique. “Classical” engineering curricula focus indeed on mastering a comprehensive scientific basis with topics such as mathematics, chemistry, physics, electricity, mechanics and electronics. But an engineer solves problems for … people and sometimes these (end) users get (too) little attention.

Confrontation and empathising with, adopting an appreciative approach towards, knowing about and working for end users and organisations in the social profit sector are key. Once opportunities for technology have been discovered, the challenge is to develop them, to (help) implement and sustain them in order to change and improve the lives of people and organisations. That is easier said than done and multidisciplinary is an important asset.

The engineer and the social profit sector have seldomly come together. That is what this programme wants to change.

We believe in ‘learning by developing’. Therefore we combine course contents and project work. In the projects, students work on ‘real life’ challenges of target groups of and organisations in the social profit sector. Our programme allows combining work and study.

We are convinced that engineers with the additional certificate of “Community Service Engineering” are particularly widely employable in the labour market because they have been trained at the crossroads of additional disciplines and have interacted with a variety of audiences and organisations.

The training is conducted in English with focus on international perspectives. Support from the European ERASMUS programme has recently been obtained.
– Are you an engineer and are you interested? Please let us know.
– Do you have a project idea that could fit within the programme? Please submit your project proposal to us.
– Do you know engineers who might be interested? Please tell them about this course.
– Are you a Human Resources Manager, concerned with honing the talents of engineers? Please refer them to us.
– Do you know an engineering association? Please ask them to inform their members.

Thank you!

Jan Engelen, KU Leuven

Any further questions? Please ask them via or directly to me:

PS: Your application for the programme can be submitted via

Public conference of the EuCAN – European Concept for Accessibility Network to launch the new ECA publication: “ECA 2013 – From theory to practice”.

In cooperation with the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment Berlin, the Fürst Donnersmarck-Foundation, Berlinische Galerie and Design for All – Germany (EDAD)

Venue: Berlinische Galerie – Museum of Modern Art, Photography and Architecture
Alte Jakobstraße 124-128
10969 Berlin
Date:7th and 8th November 2013
Conference language: English
Audience: Members of the organisers and other interested persons from Europe, with a particular focus on representatives active in the following fields: (environmental) architecture, construction, city planning, crafts, marketing, design, art, culture, communication, entrepreneurship, consumer organisations, organisations of and for Senior citizens and/or people with disabilities, Highschools, training institutes and decision makers in economy, policy and administration.
Accomodations: Advance bookings have been made in Grimm’s Hotel and Best Western Hotel am Spittelmarkt. There are special offers for the attendances of the conference. Please send an email to (after September 9th) if you are interested to book a room.
Deadline: Deadline to register for the conference and the hotel rooms: September 30th.
Contact: Silvio Sagramola,

The Center on Disabilities at California State University, Northridge announced that the Call for Papers for the 27th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference will open on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 and will close on Friday, September 30, 2011. Please Note:
The Call for Papers will be open for 4 weeks only this year.
Visit on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 to make your Call for Papers submission.

Design for All (DfA) is design for human diversity, social inclusion and equality (EIDD Stockholm Declaration, 2004). It supports the creation of products, services and systems that can be used by as many people as possible without the need for special adaptation and has a people-centred approach at the heart of it. DfA has origins in the field of barrier-free accessibility but has grown to encompass much more. It can meet the great social challenges of our time such as ageing populations, the need to include differently-abled people in mainstream design as well as engage with people excluded on the basis of social, economic, financial or geographic boundaries. Inclusion is central to a DfA approach, bringing with it better design thinking, improved products and services, market success and socially-centred innovation.

DfA has been appropriated by designers working in different disciplines such as consumer products, packaging and communication design, transport and mobility as well as the built environment and sustainable development.

There is a need to progress DfA from being just seen as an ideology or philosophy to becoming a practical part of the everyday design process and demonstrating the value of the approach. In this context, Design for All Europe and Fundación ONCE promote a major new publication on Design for All which seeks to gather good examples of DfA that include people whether old or young, differently-abled, of any gender, culture or race.

The aim is to convey the practical experience of implementing Design for All drawn from designers, educators, policy makers, businesses and other organizations, articulating the key elements for success as a good practice guide for others to follow.

The publication will seek to achieve the following objectives:

  • Collect interesting European and global experiences on Design for All in all design sectors including the built environment, products, services, IT, transport and information design.
  • Analyze each experience and outline key factors in describing their success. The editorial team will look at each accepted case study to see how other people working in DfA may benefit from the learnings and how work might be transposed or reproduced in other areas, sectors or countries.
  • Publish a book in Spanish and English – the first of its kind – that exclusively showcases DfA case studies and the importance of design that considers human diversity. The book will be distributed across the EU.

If you would like to be included please send an abstract of 200 words written in international English for consideration by the editorial team. Guidelines as below:

  • Abstracts should describe design stories or case studies that address the publication theme of Design for All in Action, explicitly stating how it can be considered to have a people-centred approach.
  • Market-ready solutions are preferred but the editorial committee will consider abstracts that describe exceptional work that may not be on the market.
  • Issues concerning DfA methods for involving people in the design process and case studies describing how DfA policy or legislation has influenced design practice, can also be submitted.
  • Abstracts are in international English and NOT academic English. The editorial team will give advice on final contributions.
  • Abstracts are solicited from individuals, companies, industry, universities, research facilities, government bodies, voluntary sector organizations or anyone who has a DfA story to tell. Designers, students, start-ups, educators, marketers, policy-makers, managers, academics and business leaders are also encouraged.
  • Abstracts should include a short description of: the project, user groups, design process, outcomes, and any measures of success.

Timetable for submission:

  • 25 July 2011: abstracts of 200 words sent to Sara Pérez at
  • Abstracts reviewed by editorial committee.
  • 15 September 2011: notification of acceptance to authors
  • 15 September 2011 to 7 November 2011: Authors of accepted abstracts work on developing a complete chapter of their work. This will be no more than 750 words and will include images.
  • 7 November 2011: Chapters submitted to be reviewed by editorial committee
  • 19 December 2011: Feedback on chapters given to authors
  • 20 February 2012: ‘Camera-ready’ chapters submitted by authors for inclusion in the book
  • 15 April 2012: Book printed
  • May 2012: Book launched

Editorial Committee:

Lead editors:

Jesús Hernández, Dirección de Accesibilidad Universal, Fundación ONCE

Finn Petren, President, EIDD – Design for All Europe


Avril Accolla, Vice-President, EIDD – Design for All Italia

Onny Eikhaug, Programme Leader, Norwegian Design Council

Rama Gheerawo, Deputy Director, Helen Hamlyn Centre, Royal College of Art

Peter Neumann, EDAD

Chris Ramsden, President, Chartered Society of Designers

Key contacts:

Book facilitator:

Merih Kunur, based in UK