About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2091-2096
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain

UNIVERSITY, CIVIL ORGANIZATIONS AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES UNITED IN LEARNING

J. Gutiérrez Brezmes

Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México (MEXICO)
In Mexico there are over 220 institutions of higher education teaching architecture undergraduate degrees, which represent around 50 000 students whose curricula does not systematically include accessibility issues in architecture. This partly explains the dramatic situation of people with disabilities who find themselves compelled to develop in material surroundings that are inadequate for their physical characteristics.

Accessibility and people with disabilities have recently become “politically correct” issues in which all political parties and government agencies have become involved to some extent. Nevertheless, architectural professionals are not actually well prepared for the challenge of designing and building accessible physical environments, and apparently neither will be future generations of professionals.

In this context, the exception is the model developed and operated for the past twelve years by the Department of Architecture of the Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México (UIA) within the framework of a collaboration agreement called Espacios Dignos (Dignified Spaces), which was launched with Libre Acceso A.C. (LAAC), an association of people with disabilities in Mexico.

Espacios Dignos was conceived in such a way that it has been able to renovate itself constantly to remain pertinent, and it is considered to be an innovative model in the Mexican context. The original formula is deceivingly simple, as academia joins society in a common interest to solve a particular problem, namely to unite those who suffer in daily life from a problem with those who may propose and develop solutions, involving students and future architects in the process.

Since its inception, Espacios Dignos attracted the attention of various Federal Government and Mexico City Government agencies, by asking for their help and offering support, so the model managed to include those who may implement solutions and also confront the academic milieu with a healthy dose of pragmatism.

The actions undertaken by Espacios Dignos include the design and joint operation with the Secretariat for Social Development of Mexico City’s Government of the first two massive evaluation programs for accessibility in commercial and service facilities in Mexico, Establecimiento Amigo 1999 and Establecimiento Amigo 2000, in which student participation and learning were priceless.

The constant research within Espacios Dignos has been widely recognized, and we have been invited to collaborate on various handbook projects and regulation proposals, the most important of which are the “Handbook of Accessibility Recommendations” for the Office of the President of the Republic, the “Mexican Accessibility Norm” for the Federal Government, the Accessibility Manual for the Mexican Institute of Social Security, and the “Technical Complementary Norm on Accessibility” –currently in process- for Mexico City’s Building Code.

The experience resulting from evaluating over 500 buildings of all sorts, along with the accessibility recommendations drawn for each one of them compose an extensive reference record that forms the basis for academic course work. Today, accessibility is part of the ideological background for architectural studies at the UIA.

The next step for Espacios Dignos is for the model to become replicated in other universities in Mexico and to obtain international projection, particularly in Latin American countries.
@InProceedings{GUTIERREZBREZMES2010UNI,
author = {Guti{\'{e}}rrez Brezmes, J.},
title = {UNIVERSITY, CIVIL ORGANIZATIONS AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES UNITED IN LEARNING},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {2091-2096}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Gutiérrez Brezmes
TI - UNIVERSITY, CIVIL ORGANIZATIONS AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES UNITED IN LEARNING
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 2091
EP - 2096
ER -
J. Gutiérrez Brezmes (2010) UNIVERSITY, CIVIL ORGANIZATIONS AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES UNITED IN LEARNING, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 2091-2096.
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