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CABE influence stretches into disabled remit

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CABE is set to grow yet again with the announcement that its remit will stretch this year to include the consideration of 'inclusive design' - the 'built environment needs' of disabled people.

The design quango is to take over the support and development of the Inclusive Environment Group (IEG) at the request of central government.

CABE is currently seeking a policy advisor to help its work in the field, to be appointed in September.

The IEG will advise CABE's board of commissioners, and is to include representation from a wide cross-section of disabled people, regulators, built-environment professionals and government observers.

Westminster has been pushing for a group to consider improving access to the built environment since 2000, when its response to 'From Exclusion to Inclusion', the earlier report of the Disability Task Force, was published.

The response stated: 'In light of our recommendations, the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions should establish an advisory group similar to the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee, on improving access to the built environment for disabled people, drawing its membership from the building and planning worlds and disability organisations.'

CABE chief executive Richard Simmons said: 'To [extend CABE's work into the field of inclusive design] we need to work directly with disabled people and the other groups who can benefit most from inclusive design.'

by Rob Sharp

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