Disability Act 2005

Amendment of Act of 1999.


52.—Part II of the Act of 1999 is amended by inserting the following Chapter after Chapter I:

“Chapter IA

Centre for Excellence in Universal Design


19A.—In this Chapter—

‘the Centre’ shall be construed in accordance with section 19B;

‘environment’, in relation to any area, means any buildings and any public places in that area and any products used, services provided and systems (including electronic systems) available for operation in that area;

‘public place’ means any place to which the public has access whether as of right or by permission and whether subject to or free of charge;

‘universal design’—

( a) means the design and composition of an environment so that it may be accessed, understood and used—

(i) to the greatest practicable extent,

(ii) in the most independent and natural manner possible,

(iii) in the widest possible range of situations, and

(iv) without the need for adaptation, modification, assistive devices or specialised solutions,

by persons of any age or size or having any particular physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual ability or disability,


( b) means, in relation to electronic systems, any electronics-based process of creating products, services or systems so that they may be used by any person.

Centre for Excellence in Universal Design.

19B.—(1) There shall be in the Authority a centre which shall be known as the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design and is referred to in this Part as ‘the Centre’.

(2) The Centre shall consist of such members of the staff of the Authority as it may designate from time to time.

(3) There shall be a chief officer of the Centre (‘the chief officer’) who shall be a member of the staff of the Centre designated by the Authority from time to time.

(4) Members of the staff of the Centre, including the chief officer, may be transferred by the Authority to other positions in the Authority and, upon being so transferred, shall cease to be members of the staff of the Centre and, in the case of the transfer of a member who is the chief officer, shall also cease to be the chief officer.

(5) Subject to section 19D, the functions of the Centre shall be performed by the chief officer. Subject as aforesaid, those functions or specified such functions may be performed by another member of the staff of the Centre authorised in that behalf by the chief officer.

Functions of Centre.

19C.—(1) The Centre shall facilitate the achievement of excellence in universal design by contributing to the development and promulgation of standards in that regard.

(2) In relation to the universal design of electronic systems, the Centre shall—

( a) support and assist in the development of standards of excellence by liaising with appropriate national and international standards bodies for this purpose,

( b) recommend those standards for adoption by bodies operating in the fields of information technology and tele-communications,

( c) encourage compliance by the bodies aforesaid with appropriate national and international standards in universal design, and

( d) provide information to those bodies in relation to the practical and theoretical aspects of supportive technologies.

(3) In relation to assisting and promoting the introduction of the principles of universal design to courses of education and training, the Centre shall liaise with vocational and third level educational institutions and with professional bodies to—

( a) encourage the training in universal design of persons providing—

(i) courses of education and training in universal design for persons preparing to engage in work affecting the environment, or

(ii) courses of training for persons engaged in such work,

( b) ensure as far as practicable that courses of education and training in the principles of universal design are provided for persons engaged in such work, including architects, engineers, town planners, systems analysts, software designers, transport providers and designers of passenger transport vehicles and passenger vessels,

( c) ensure the development of appropriate curricula so that the concept of universal design forms an integral part of the aforesaid courses,

( d) ensure as far as practicable that examinations recognised by professional bodies in such courses include material relating to those principles.

(4) In relation to the continued development of the principles of universal design, the Centre shall—

( a) assist in the development of knowledge, skills, understanding and values so as to enable persons engaged in work affecting the environment to strive towards achieving an environment that is universally designed,

( b) promote public awareness of the difficulties encountered by persons with disabilities in relation to the environment.

(5) The Centre shall engage in such practical and theoretical work in respect of matters relating to universal design as the Minister may specify from time to time.

Partnership arrangements.

19D.—Notwithstanding any provision of any other enactment, the Authority may, with the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance, make an arrangement, on such terms and conditions as it considers appropriate, with a person or persons for the performance, in partnership with the Authority, of specified functions of the Centre.”.