THE Minister of Disabled People, Work and Health visited the University of Reading on October 20 to view the institution's new inclusive design initiative.
Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt was given a guided tour of the university's Breaking Down Barrier project, which has changed the way students are taught to design products and services.
Reading is the first university to seriously adopt a nationwide initiative emphasising the economic, legal and moral importance of catering for both able and disabled people.
The Minister said: “Inclusivity and accessibility should be at the forefront of good design, and I’m delighted to see the University of Reading leading the way with their Breaking Down Barriers scheme.
“Someone may be able to go into a football stadium, but then not be able to sit with their friends. This project is really make sure that everyone in our society has the opportunity to take part.
“It has been really great to come to the university today and see some of the areas where this is coming along.”
After trying a series of tools that simulate the everyday challenges associated with mobility, dexterity and visibility impairment, Reading alumnus Mrs Mordaunt reflecting on her time at the university.
“I was in Wantage Hall when I was here,” she said.
“I remember taking part in the annual sheep smuggling. You were not allowed to walk on Wantage Quad so once a year we used to obtain some sheep from a local farm and let them loose on the quad.”