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Architects aware of disabled access issues claims RIBA

15th May 2006

A leading figure at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has said that architects are taking the issue of disabled access seriously.

Richard Brindley, director of practice at the group, was speaking following complaints that the BBC security correspondent and wheelchair user Frank Gardner had experienced difficulty in accessing a leading hotel in London for a radio awards dinner.

The hotel claims that Mr Gardner, who was paralysed after being repeatedly shot by al-Qaeda terrorists, was dropped off at the wrong entrance.

Mr Brindley told BBC Radio Four’s 'You and Yours': "As part of their curriculum whilst they’re training architects have to learn about disabled access, and health and safety.

"And that continues whilst they’re practising, and every year they have to carry out a minimum of two hours’ health and safety training, a large proportion of which is dealing with disabled access."

He added that there remain a large number of buildings designed before disabled access was regarded as such an important issue that are unfriendly to wheelchair users.