The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE) today launch a significant research project looking into disability and inclusion in the profession, which is aimed at raising the profile of disabled architects and architectural students.
The research is being undertaken by Sandra Manley and Ann de Graft-Johnson of the School of the Built and Natural Environment at UWE, who previously collaborated with the RIBA on the research project Why women leave architecture (2003). As one of the key projects led by the RIBA's equality and diversity forum Architects for Change, the research will seek to identify examples of good practice in the profession facilitating equal opportunities for disabled people as entrants and practitioners.
The RIBA is encouraging the widest number of disabled students and practitioners to take part in the study, particularly:
students of architecture
those who embarked on an architecture course or career in architecture but did not complete it
those who considered a career in architecture, but were deterred from pursuing this ambition
those who are interested in contributing their views and experience to the research
David Gloster, Director of Education at the RIBA said:
"This is an opportunity for all constituencies in the profession of architecture to hold up a mirror to their everyday attitudes, and re-evaluate the manner in which disability is treated in both architecture education and practice. We are confident that the results of the research will provoke both debate and change."
Conducting the research, Sandra Manley said:
"There are strong arguments for encouraging disabled people to become designers and for finding mechanisms to support architects who acquire disabilities during their working lives. We feel this is an important step towards creating a climate of success for disabled designers in the UK."
Further details about the research and the questionnaire are available online: https://environment7.uwe.ac.uk/projects/riba