The portal Virtual Home Showroom (‘Virtuelt visningshjem’) is a website presenting welfare technology solutions that follow the principles of universal design and accessibility. The portal is the result of research funding from The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs, and was launched in 2020.
The background for the portal is the assumption that there is a need for more emphasis on universal design regarding the use of welfare technology in housing, both for providers of such technology, public tenderers and service providers. The targets groups for the use of this portal thus include service providers, producers of welfare technology, public authorities as well as the users themselves and their adherents.
The portal is a dynamic document, which will be updated on a regular basis.
The portal consists of a range of topics, each can be assessed through a separate button. These are:
- Universal Design explained provides definitions of the content of the principle of Universal Design, and the seven principles for ensuring accessible solutions for all.
- Target groups is a presentation of different types of disabilities and aspects that should be taken into consideration in the design of housing for the users. In other words, disability has consequences for the design of housing and its functions. Many of the solutions are obviously for the benefit of most people.
- Technology examples is a presentation of relevant welfare and everyday technology and how it is used in the different rooms of a home, with some examples.
- House and rooms provides an overview of requirements and recommendations as to ensuring accessibility to the different rooms in a home. This includes references to current Norwegian legislation in the field of accessible housing, and recommendation as to how to achieve accessibility.
- Standards is an overview of current national and international standards that will provide concrete recommendations in fields relevant for the portal, like information-and communication technology, buildings, technological solutions etc.
- Realisation of benefits provides an overview of links to the different parts of the Norwegian Government welfare technology programme, including concept, planning, carrying out and completing the introduction of welfare technology in municipalities, as well as aspects of service innovation.
- Service design focuses on how to design a service in general and related to care provision so that everyone have equal access to it. It presents the cycles regarding the design of a service, user participation, contract negotiation with providers, evaluation and other elements.
- Procurement is a presentation of the process of public procurement, and how to include requirements to accessibility and universal design in the subsequent stages of a procurement process from planning, producing a tender, negotiations and contract, user participation and finally evaluation of the services procured.