The Asian Conference on Mental Retardation is held every other year. Now, it is the time for Asian people concerned with mental retardation to meet together again. With the theme of the 18th ACMR, we hope that all Asian societies will work toward to include all needs. All the services, supports, and etc. are designed universally, and nothing or nobody is exceptional.
The theme of the 18th ACMR is”Universal Design Environment”. It has an intensified focus on the meaning of building a barrier-free universal environment for various dimensions, such as physical, mental, social, and educational facets, for all people including persons with mental retardation. The traditional design focuses on filling the needs of the “average” person. The Universal Design philosophy emerges from recognition of the central idea that no average person exists, thus designing for the fictitious “average” person may not account for the effects of multiple individual differences. The word “Universal” means to underscore the need for multiple approaches to meet the needs of diverse individuals. While the concept of the “Universal Design Environment” highlights the importance that all designs have to planned ahead, with comprehensive blueprints, to reach the ideal goal of creating an environment suitable for all people. Along with the above mentioned theme, the topics to be covered in the 18th ACMR will be multi-faceted, such as: Legislation and Administration, Professional Collaboration, Clinical Diagnosis, Characteristics and Needs, Autism, Down’s Syndrome, Genetic and Health Issue, Parent and Family, Early Intervention, Education, Self Advocacy, Behavioral Problem and Management, Assistive Technology, Transition, Vocational Rehabilitation, Community, and others. In this conference, we hope to provide a forum in which members from various fields may present their scholarly and empirical works, which are informative and of interest to people caring for the quality life of persons with intellectual disabilities. We also encourage people with intellectual disabilities to share their personal experiences with topics such as “Self advocacy” and “Vocational Rehabilitation” at the Conference. With the increasing attention on the issue of “Universal Design Environment”, and by facilitating the exchanges of experiences, we believe this can bring the hopes of tomorrow alive in today’s action.