A message from Julie Fleck

I am thrilled to see how the Breaking down Barriers Project is taking off – well done Christina, Jeanne-Louise and the rest of the BdB team.

The University of Reading is leading the way in its approach to embedding inclusive design into the built environment teaching and learning programmes and is a real support for the Government’s Built Environment Professional Education project (BEPE).

BEPE aims to embed inclusive design teaching and learning into all built environment programmes so that every newly qualified built environment professional has the skills, knowledge, understanding and attitude to deliver accessible and inclusive buildings, places and spaces in their future professional lives. The work at Reading can really help to make inclusive design business as usual.

I would like to remind all built environment students that Inclusive Design wins prizes! The RSA (Royal Society of Arts) Student Design Awards includes a brief called Inclusive Cities this year (see the RSA SDA Inclusive Cities brief). The competition opened for submissions on 27th January and closes on 10th March. Built environment undergraduate and postgraduate students can submit a design, project, plan or strategy that demonstrates an understanding of inclusive design principles and processes – do please enter.

I am looking forward to the attending the School of Architecture event next week to participate and discuss ideas for a shared curriculum – education, practice and industry – and to discuss how the new architecture programme starting this autumn is embedding inclusive design.


Julie Fleck

BEPE Project Lead

Office for Disability Issues

Jan 2016


Adrian Tagg becomes our second BdB adopter  

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Adrian Tagg, a lecturer in SCME and an experienced practising Building Surveyor is our latest BdB adopter. Adrian recently introduced Access Audits into the core second year Building Surveying module which he now leads, using case studies from continental Europe.  This session followed presentations to Building Surveying students from Geoff Cook and Christina Duckett on inclusive design basics, and workshops similar to those previously undertaken by Typography students, allowing students to appreciate the impact of visual impairment on everyday tasks by simulation exercises.  Students on SCME’s optional third year Inclusive Environments module also participated in the sessions: this module is open to students of all disciplines within SCME.

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Adrian’s engagement with BdB means that Inclusive design is now embedded into a core module within an undergraduate programme in SCME run by a member of staff who is not part of the core BdB team, which is great news. We’re keen for other Reading colleagues to join us as adopters. If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming a BdB adopter, please contact Christina Duckett (c.duckett@reading.ac.uk).

Paul Luna becomes first BdB Adopter

Professor Paul Luna has become the first academic at Reading to embed the principles of BdB into a module which he convenes. Typography students recently benefited from team teaching in workshops within Paul’s Design Theory module. T&L materials from the ‘Can of beans,’ ‘Out and about’ and other exercises are now on Blackboard, where we are building resources to use across the University.

BdB off to a great start

Thanks to the generosity of the UoR TLDF fund, the Faculty of Science and SCME and to the endeavours of our project team and others, we are delighted to announce that we now have, or have ordered, a range of resources for experiential learning and developing relevant T&L materials. These include:

  • a laptop, video camera and software
  • two bariatric suits
  • wheelchairs
  • and gloves and glasses which simulate a variety of impairments.

We are starting to prepare T&L materials based on experiential learning and cross-school collaboration for delivery in the autumn and spring terms in two Schools.

We have also thought about how we can discuss and share what we are doing with internal audiences and have created:

  • promotional postcards
  • posters
  • a range of useful images
  • and, of course, our blog and BdB email address: bdb@reading.ac.uk.

In September, we are booked to give a presentation at the CHOBE (The Council of the Heads of Built Environment) iBEE conference (Innovation in Built Environment Education) and to present a poster at INCLUDE.

Watch out for our forthcoming article in the Autumn edition of the UoR T&L magazine.

This represents excellent progress in six short and very busy weeks: many thanks to all who have made this possible.