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RIX Research and Media nominated for Times Higher Education Award

Who Are We

Nomination is especially poignant as it follows death of centre’s founder, Lord Rix

By Kiera Hay

The University of East London’s RIX Research and Media has been shortlisted for a prestigious Times Higher Education Award for its pioneering work helping people with learning disabilities to communicate about their lives.

Central to RIX’s “multimedia advocacy approach” is the RIX Wiki - an easy-to-build personal website which a person with learning disabilities can build themselves or with the help of a carer using pictures, text, video and sound clips.

The research centre earned its nomination for the 2016 THE awards in the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology’ category.

Professor Andy Minnion, Director of the centre, said, “The RIX Research and Media team at UEL is delighted that the centre’s work has been shortlisted.

He continued, “This is particularly poignant given the recent very sad loss of Lord Rix, the centre’s co-founder and patron and a great friend and colleague for us at RIX Research and Media.”

Lord Rix, who was also the first Chancellor of UEL, passed away on 20 August at the age of 92. He was a tireless champion for people with disabilities.

Professor Minnion said, “Brian [Lord Rix] would have been very proud of this recognition for the ground-breaking work we have led at UEL in partnership with the learning disability community.

RIX was established in 2004 as a non-profit research centre which develops and exploits new media to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities. 

Following a pilot period, the centre in January 2015 launched its package of RIX Wikis, multimedia tools and training courses – the latter of which equips disabled people and their families, as well as key members of local authorities and schools, to become accredited regional ‘Wiki Champions’, thereby assuring the sustainability of the project.

The centre now works with 20 local authorities and over 100 schools and organisation in the UK, USA and Europe. There are also plans to distribute software for individual users.

The THE Awards will take place at a dinner and ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on November 24, expected to be attended by more than 1,000 guests, including politicians and senior figures from the Higher Education sector.