The Construction Industry Council (CIC) has published a new guide ‘Bringing Inclusive Design into Built Environment Education’ which illustrates the key issues in terms of improving knowledge, skills and understanding in the creation of an accessible and inclusive built environment.
In April this year, the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee Report ‘Building for Equality: Disability and the Built Environment’, recognised that all too often disabled people find their lives needlessly restricted by features of the built environment. It highlighted that many workplaces and service premises remain inaccessible and concluded that “rather than leaving the burden of ensuring an accessible environment is achieved to individual disabled people, the burden needs to lie with those of us who create, occupy and manage the environment”.
The Built Environment Professional Education Project (BEPE), which passed from government to CIC last year, identified a need to provide further support to educators to build inclusive design teaching capacity and develop new courses, modules and teaching practices.
The Teaching and Learning Briefing Guide follows on from the publication in March of CIC’s ‘Essential Principles for Built Environment Professionals’ which set out six key principles to help all built environment professionals create and deliver an accessible and inclusive built environment.
‘Bringing Inclusive Design into Built Environment Education’ draws on the current work of the Design Council, the previous work of the Centre for Education on the Building Environment (CEBE) at the Higher Education Academy and the work taking place at many universities and colleges and by other educators in the UK who are already embedding inclusive design into the education of built environment professionals.
The guide is commended by the Minister of State for Disabled People and the Minister of State for Housing and Planning who in the Foreword said: “A systematic change in the education and training of built environment professionals, along with employers becoming ‘Disability Confident’ will help change the lives of the millions of disabled people. If our buildings, places and spaces are built with access needs for all in mind, disabled people can then retain their independence, contribute fully to society and the economy and live fulfilling lives. We commend this guide to all in the higher education sector and those involved in continuing professional development programmes – it is another great help in raising the profile of inclusive design.”
The free guide is aimed at all built environment environment educators and can be downloaded here.