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New Panel’s Mission to Improve Access & Inclusion

Inclusive design consultancy the Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE) has launched an Access Panel with a diverse membership of disabled people and other access experts.

The Panel will promote equality by advising on best practices concerning access and inclusion of the built environment and services, as well as how to mitigate potential barriers using the social model of disability.

The social model of disability is a way of viewing the world, developed by disabled people, that says people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference. That includes physical barriers, like buildings that aren’t accessible.

With an estimated 16 million disabled people in the UK, representing nearly 25% of the population, consulting with CAE’s Access Panel early in the design process means project teams can avoid costly retrofits and ensure that their projects are accessible to all members of society.

“Accessibility is about everyone, and inclusive design puts people at the heart of the design process,” said Fara Muneer, CAE’s Head of Business Development.

“The Panel provides a platform to listen to the voices of those people directly impacted by accessibility barriers.“We believe that consulting or co-producing designs with users is not just an equality duty, it also fosters good relations in the community.”

Projects interested in presenting their projects to the Panel for advice should email to find out more, and include a brief outline of their project.

The Centre for Accessible Environments is part of Habinteg Housing Association and has been one of the leading authorities on inclusive design for over 50 years. It provides consultancy, training, research and publications on building design and management to meet all user needs, including disabled and older people.

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