Bevica Fonden focuses on strengthening opportunities for individuals with mobility impairment to participate in, and contribute to society. This has been at the core of the foundation’s work since it was founded in 1872. Although significant progress has been made since then for the reality and everyday life of people with disabilities, there is still much to do. Danish society still faces challenges with inequality in health, in education, in technology, in the labour market, in accessibility to cities and buildings, in social life, and much more.
Bevica Fonden takes an active role in pushing for societal development to solve these challenges. Efforts are based on developing long-term initiatives in partnerships with other actors. At the same time, the foundation works to ensure that initiatives are based on the best possible research and actively support the development of new knowledge in the field.
The foundation aims to strengthen and advance knowledge and practice in the field of Universal design, and that this work takes place in relation to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): in particular, the cross-cutting pledge Leave No One Behind.
Universal design is about creating equivalent solutions that ensure that everyone – including people with disabilities – is considered in the entire design of society. Leave No One Behind has an overarching function in the SDGs: In the joint efforts to create a better and more sustainable world with the SDGs as a guiding star, we must remember to ensure that no one – neither groups nor individuals – is left on the platform, while the rest of the world gets on the train.
The teeth in the gears of Universal design and Leave No One Behind fit well into each other, and therefore it is logical for the foundation to integrate these.
The foundation is working towards 2030 in two tracks:
1) Research & Education in Universal Design
The foundation’s research and education strategy is based on a clear, long-term theory of change. Through the establishment and consolidation of UD as an attractive field of research and education, graduates of the future will be able to influence practice – both in the private and public sectors.
Therefore, the foundation has established the Universal Design Hub – a research unit that strengthen research in and knowledge about Universal Design.
2) Spreading Universal Design and Leave No One Behind in partnerships with our surroundings
The second track focuses on the general dissemination of Universal design, with focus on including the Leave No One Behind agenda as a base. Leave No One Behind is a backdrop for all 17 Sustainable Development Goals and focuses on leaving no groups or individuals on the platform while the rest of society gets on the train. Among other things, it is about being aware of people with disabilities when, with the SDGs as a guideline, we design a new and more sustainable world. In practical terms, the foundation establishes partnerships with actors who influence the steps we take as a society to achieve the SDGs. We work with these actors to make Universal Design an essential principle for the approach to health, education, the labour market, urban planning, construction and design, the experience economy, and social communities.
The Universal Design Hub was established by Bevica Fonden to contribute to a change in the major agendas in society and the core building blocks of quality of life: education, the labour market, health, and social life. We contribute to this through increased use of the concept Universal Design as a lever for the pledge of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, “Leave No One Behind”. The aim is that everyone, regardless of ability, can participate in all aspects of life, and no one is left behind.
The ambition of the Universal Design Hub is to set in motion a process of change in our common understanding of the ideal human being. This will be through increased research-based use and dissemination of the value-based concept of Universal design as a lever for Leave No One Behind.
Universal design requires multidisciplinary commitment and interdisciplinary collaboration. Therefore, the Universal Design Hub facilitates the Bevica interdisciplinary research network to strengthen universal design as a research-based, interdisciplinary field of knowledge with researchers from a wide range of disciplines related to a life in Denmark.
The Universal Design Hub facilitates the Bevica Scholarship Programme.
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Marie Engberg Eiriksson
Communications and Project Developer
René Sørensen Overby
Stine Louring Nielsen