Manley, S. , de Graft-Johnson, A. and Lucking, K.
Disabled architects: Unlocking the potential for practice.
Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Abstract Disabled Architects: Unlocking the Potential for Practice
Sandra Manley, Ann de Graft-Johnson and Katie Lucking, UWE, Bristol
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) commissioned UWE to investigate the experiences of disabled architects and architecture students with the aim of making recommendations to increase the diversity of the profession and disseminate good practice. Architects for Change (AFC), the RIBA’s Equality and Diversity forum and the RIBA Inclusive Design Working Group promoted the research ambitions.
The core aims of the research were to:
• Identify good practice relating to equal opportunities for disabled people in the architecture profession;
• Identify obstacles to entrance, progression and retention of disabled people in architecture;
• Assess the current situation and make recommendations for improvement against which future progress can be monitored;
Key conclusions from the findings were that:
• the architecture profession needs to make significant changes;
• in particular the educational environment needs to change to be more inclusive;
• some students were traumatised by their educational experiences. Nevertheless most disabled people who participated in the study retained their enthusiasm to the practice of architecture. In the words of one student who participated:
“Architecture is a marvelously stimulating field. Learning about it is a privilege” (Architecture Student, 2010).
The report recommendations were based on the findings and included primary and secondary education as well as higher education, the relevant professional bodies and architects practices.
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