Universal Design as a Tool to Realize the Agenda 2030

Side-event on the occasion of the 14th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD 2021, organized by the Swedish Agency for Participation and the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs. The event is co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Norway to the UN.

Universal design is a key tool in the implementation of the Agenda 2030 and it’s SDGs. By designing products, services and environments based on the diversity of the population, communities become more accessible, useful and sustainable for all.

The ‘UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development 2018 - Realizing the SDGs by, for and with persons with disabilities’ clearly indicates that persons with disabilities continue to face barriers to full inclusion and participation in the life of their communities. They face disproportionate levels of poverty, lack of access to education, health services, employment, under-representation in decision-making and in political participation. There are many indications that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic now deteriorates the situation even more.

This side event will discuss examples and exchange experiences on the importance of universal design within the framework of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities as a tool in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

  • Universal design, a precondition to realize the SDGs and a key principle in implementing the CRPD
  • Specific consequences of Covid-19 for persons with disabilities and important measures to restore the rights of persons with disabilities after the pandemic
  • How to ensure the inclusion of disability in implementation of the SDGs in the Swedish community? The work of the disability movement.
  • Universal design – for all, by all: The Norwegian approach for increased participation and social sustainability through universal design
  • Workplace inclusion and accessibility for people with visual impairments
  • The European Commission’s new Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030


9:45 A.M.       Opening the event for moderator, speakers, sign language and written interpreters.


10:00 A.M.    Malin Ekman Aldén, Director General, The Swedish Agency for Participation. Sweden

10:10 A.M.    Tiina Nummi-Södergren, Manager, Equally Unique Academy, United Nations Association of Sweden, Sweden, Johanna Söderström, Lecturer, Equally Unique Academy, Swedish Deaf Youth Association, Sweden.

10:25 A.M.    Kirsti Svinø, Senior Adviser, The Norwegian Directoarate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs, Norway

10.35 A.M.    Terje André Olsen, Federation leader, The Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted

10:50 A.M.    Inmaculada Placencia Porrero, Senior expert, DG Employment social affairs and equal opportunities, EU Commission

11.05 A.M.    Discussion and closing remarks

11:15 A.M.    End of session

Accessibility: The webinar will provide real-time captioning and sign language.