10th. Anniversary
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The Institute celebrated the 10th anniversary of the IDD by holding a lecture delivered

by Mr. John H Penton MBE, BA, AADipl, FRIBA, on

 DESIGNING FOR DISABILITY on Wednesday April 25, 2001,at 8.pm, in the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre, Foster Place, Dublin 2, followed by a wine reception.





Issues of design and disability have been central to John Penton’s career and he is now regarded as one of the leading authorities in this field. Following study at the AA School of Architecture and work with Dennis E Pugh Associates in Enfield, Middlesex, he started his own practice in 1972. In 1974 he was joined by Colin Smart, formerly architect to the Spastics Society. In the early 1980s, the Partnership was expanded by the introduction of Anthony Grimwade who had been project architect for the major Barnardo’s scheme at New Mossford. Over the next twenty-five years, Penton, Smart & Grimwade undertook a wide variety of projects, including:

· Holiday centres at South Nuffield, Chigwell, Nottingham and Southport for the Winged Fellowship Trust,

· Housing for frail elderly people for Southwark local authority,

· Special needs residential and training facilities for multiply-disabled deaf and deaf-blind people at Blackburn and Bath for the RNIDP,

· Training facilities for severely disabled people, including hall of residence and offices for the Queen Elizabeth Foundation for Disabled People,

· Methodist church and sheltered housing for Aldwyck Housing Authority, Stevenage,

· Family centres, further education units, group homes and facilities for deaf-blind users for SENSE,

· Nursing homes and extra-care residential facilities for elderly people for the Abbeyfield Society, Methodist Homes for the Aged and the Order of the Holy Family of Bordeaux,

· Special, education unit for deaf-blind children at Waltham Forest for the Whitefield Trust and the Variety Club of Great Britain,

· Hotel facilities for people with disabilities in Dublin (Jurys hotel) and London (the London Tara).


John Penton has been employed as a consultant architect on disability projects in Demark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, and the United States as well as throughout the United Kingdom. His clients include: Remploy; London Transport; The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, Houston, Texas; the Leonard Cheshire Foundation; the English, Welsh and Scottish Tourist Boards; the National Association for Colitis and Crohn’s disease; The Nordic Committee on Disability.


John Penton was a founder member of the Access Committee for England and of the Centre for Accessible Environments. He is vice chairman of Heathlands School for the Profoundly Deaf, St. Albans, and an honorary member of the College of occupational Therapists. He served as adviser to HRH The Prince of Wales on the built environment from 1991 to 1997. He is currently a member of the expert committee of the Council of Europe on design and disability.


John Penton is a frequent contributor to television and radio and has lectured and published widely. Recent publications include: Widening the Eye of the Needle, a guide to access to churches for disabled people, 1999; Access to Schools for Disabled People, 1999; Inclusion – A Guide to the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act for Building Owners, Facilities Managers and Architects, RIBA Publications Ltd, 1999.