Social Functions



Conference Dinner

Tickets are selling out fast for the Universal Design conference dinner. Book your dinner ticket now through the registration process on our website, or contact Sandra Dube to amend your registration

The Universal Design Conference Dinner will be a unique sensory, social and human experience.

Have you ever dined in pitch blackness? Dans le Noir offers conference delegates this unique experience of eating in complete darkness, guided and served by people who are blind or have low vision. Tamaki Makaurau Auckland is the first city in the Pacific to welcome the Original Dining In the Dark Concept. More than 1.3 million people have experienced Dining in the Dark worldwide. Come join us, this is an experience that you will not soon forget!

Dinner details:
Date: Thursday 6 September
Time: 1800 - 2130
Venue: Dans Le Noir, Rydges 

Tickets can be purchased for the event:
3 course meal for $95.00
3 course meal with 3 glasses of wine for $122.00

Cash bar will be available during the evening.

Accessibility Information

Access dogs are welcome, however they're not able to come into the restaurant.  There is a separate room where access dogs will be looked after.
There is a drop off area right outside the main entrance to Rydges Hotel.
There is lift access up to level 1, to the Dans Le Noir restaurant.
One accessible toilet unit is available in the Male and Female toilet facilities on the Ground Floor and on Level 1

Valet Parking 
Rydges Auckland offers Valet Parking for all guests. Daily charges are NZ$38.00.  Guests can valet their car unlimited amounts of time for the one daily flat fee. The maximum height of the car park is 1.9m. Limited spaces are available.

Self Parking
Guests can self-park NZ$30.00 on a per exit basis per 24 hours. The reduced parking tickets require being validated from reception.


Photograph of two dancers from Touch Compass performing Drift. Julie with her arms in the air skirt billowing behind her standing on a Segway. Rodney with strong arms, one in first position, second on the wheel of his wheelchair looking in Julie's direction who is facing away from him.

Touch Compass Performance

Touch Compass will be performing on Friday, September 7th at the Conference. Their performance Drift will shift perceptions, empower participants and inspire audiences.

Synopsis: In neither the past nor the future two friends dance a strange tango together. They drift in and out of contact with each other and throw down playful challenges of speed, dynamic, and gestural communication. As the dance partners drift in and out of contact we are invited to consider how we touch, and how this touch might be read by others.

Performers: Rodney Bell, Julie van Renen
Choreographer: Sarah Foster-Sproull
Company: Touch Compass Dance Trust



Te Ao Tangata Hikoi Universal Design Tour

Saturday 8 September
Time: 1000 -1200
What: Guided tour of universal design highlights in the Auckland City Centre
Stops include: Bledisloe Lane, Aotea Square, AUT Sir Paul Reeves Building, Central City Library Tamaki Pataka Korero, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, High Street, Ellen Melville Building/ Freyberg Place, Jean Batten Place, e Waka Taumata O Horotiu (resting waka) + Kaitiaki II (anchor stone), Queen St
Cost: Free (limited places available)

Tour Leaders: Elise Copeland, Darren Davis and Vivian Naylor
You are welcome to download the App - AKL City Tours in advance of the Te Ao Tangata Universal Design Tour to your own device – phone or iPad, though this is not a requirement.

On this App you will find a list of the tour stops, before and after pictures and descriptions of each stop. The App also features an interactive map based on Google Maps.

The tours are open to all conference delegates, if you need to amend your registration to include the tour, please email There are two sections of the tour route which exceed a 1:12 gradient, volunteers will be on hand to assist with negotiating this. All tour stops will be verbally described as well as the photographs shown. Tour leaders will be using amplification systems.

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Universal Design City Tour Sponsor

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