Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People welcomes the work the BEPE project is doing to embed inclusive design into the initial and continuing education and training of built environment professionals.
Pat Russell, Head of the Office for Disability Issues, interviewed the minister to explore his thoughts and ideas on a range of disability issues soon after he became Minister for Disabled People.
Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People welcomes the work the BEPE project
Well again, this is incredibly important. We saw from London 2012 what a huge difference it makes if we get things right at the beginning.
Formerly, as a councillor, I led on building a new central library, and we actually incorporated the views of the public to make sure that the building was fully accessible. And by making very small changes at the beginning not only was that building a big success, but it won awards. So the architects benefited from engaging with people.
In the meetings I have already had, I have just re-enforced that message that this is a long term fix. We need to embed this into the education, we need to make sure that awards recognise good design, and it just becomes second nature. Those small changes at the beginning make a huge difference to all peoples lives. Particularly as we have an ageing population, so this is something that will become evermore important.