The 3rd International Conference for Universal Design was held on October 30 to November 3, 2010 in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. This is one of the largest international conferences on Universal Design with thousands of participants from government institutions, private companies and universities all over the world. Six (6) Filipinos of the NHE Project, including Municipal Mayors of New Lucena, Iloilo and Opol, Misamis Oriental attended the conference.

The IAUD acts on its basic principle to “contribute to improving the well being of humankind, through contributing to the sound development of society by the realization and dissemination of universal design.”

During the conference, the IAUD AWARD 2010 was presented to individuals and organizations for outstanding activities and contributions towards the realization of UD as a means for the society in which many people as possible can enjoy a meaningful and comfortable life free from inconveniences due to differences in ethnic or cultural origin, customs, nationality, sex, age or capacity. The IAUD Award Selection Committee selected four (4) winners for the Excellence Awards from which the Grand Award was selected and given during the 3rd International Conference for Universal Design in Hamamatsu 2010.

Among a large number of applications from both private and public organizations, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) partnership project on “The Creation of a Non-Handicapping Environment (NHE) for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Rural Areas in the Philippines” received both the Excellence Award being one of the four winners and was presented with the Grand Award during the IAUD Award Ceremony of the 3rd International Conference for Universal Design on November 01, 2010, Act City, Hamamatsu, Japan.

Mayor Dexter B. Yasay of the Municipality of Opol, Misamis Oriental and Mayor Liecel Mondejar Seville of the Municipality of New Lucena, Iloilo Province representing the two (2) pioneering municipalities received the prestigious international award and presented the achievements of the NHE Project. During the presentation, Mayor Yasay stressed that the NHE is empowering PWDs and is creating a physically and socially barrier-free community. Mayor Seville expressed her sincere gratitude and appreciation to the AIUD Selection Committee for the award as well as the JICA and NCDA for their technical assistance in making a barrier-free environment.

The two (2) pioneering municipalities in Iloilo and Misamis Oriental, with technical assistance by JICA and NCDA, make their public facilities more accessible for persons with disabilities (PWDs). Such accessible facilities are based on the concept of “Universal Design”. It promotes the participation of people with various needs in the community including senior citizens and PWDs. Focusing to make physical environments barrier-free, the Project also endeavors to remove barriers in existing systems/regulations and attitudes of people towards PWDs.

An exhibit on the achievements of the four (4) Excellence Award winners was also mounted for the duration of the conference at the International Conference Exhibition Space.

NHE officials receiving the awardNovember 10, 2010

NHE Officials shows their award

NHE Photo Exhibit