Research on Universal Design of Shared Educational Campuses in Ireland

Briefing note:

The aim of this work was to carry out research into national and international best practice in relation to Shared Educational Campuses and to engage with key stakeholders in order to investigate how Universal Design can inform the planning and design of such campuses in Ireland for people of any age, size, ability or disability.

Research on Universal Design of Shared Educational Campuses Key Research Findings & Recommendations Report 

In response to the future use of the shared educational campus (SEC) approach in Ireland, a research study was carried out into the SEC model on behalf of the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design at the National Disability Authority. Based on an in-depth review of international best practice supported by interviews and workshops, the study found many benefits and equally many challenges facing the SEC concept.

The main findings emerging from the research include: firstly, the suitability of the SEC in terms of educational provision as opposed to individual schools; secondly, the location of an SEC and its integration with the community; and thirdly, the difficulties encountered finding suitable solutions to the integration of different educational and social communities on one campus. The fourth issue emphasises the importance of an engagement process that brings together key stakeholders across all sectors and at various spatial and administrative scales in a strategic and integrated planning approach that takes a long term view. The final issue focuses on how the Universal Design (UD) approach can be used to frame an integrated response to the previous issues in terms of strategic spatial planning at a macro scale, and spatial masterplanning and the design of specific features at a site level.