Lord Rix, Patron and Founder of Rix Inclusive Research

All of the team at Rix Research & Media are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Lord Rix. The Rix centre is named in honour of Brian Rix and he was instrumental in establishing research in technology for people with learning disabilities at UEL at the turn of the century.

Lord Rix passed away on Saturday 20th August at the age of 92. In addition to being a well known stage actor and entertainer, Lord Rix was a tireless campaigner for the learning disability community and was also the University of East London’s first Chancellor from 1997 to 2012. In 2014 he helped establish The Rix Centre at the university, now Rix Research & Media, which was founded to explore and develop ways of using new technologies to transform and enrich the lives of people with learning disabilities.

Since 2014, the Centre has pursued action research in partnership with disabled people, their families and the various professionals that provide for their education, health and care – and none of this might have been achieved without the support and inspiration of Lord Rix.

Here at Rix Research & Media, we will continue to feel the impact of his passionate belief in providing people with disabilities with opportunities to thrive. He constantly supported and guided our work and was a true inspiration. He will be greatly missed.

Lord Rix speaking at the House of Lord’s in 2009 for the launch of the Rix Centre’s Click Start project

The Rix Inclusive Research team have produced this short video that features the voices of the people with learning disability with whom Lord Rix has worked with over the years. They appear on camera to celebrate his life and achievements and share their experiences of working with Brian as his colleagues. Their moving comments highlight the affect that knowing Brian has had on them as individuals as well as the tremendous contribution he has made to their ongoing campaign to achieve equality as disabled people in our society. The video will be a key contribution to Lord Rix’s memorial.

From the Archive: Brian Rix presents ‘Let’s Go!’ – Lord Rix’s enduring commitment to media advocacy for people with learning disabilities is reflected in this vintage video extract from the ‘All About Us!’ DVD, produced to accompany the book that he wrote of the same name, published by Mencap in 2006. The ‘Let’s Go!’ series featured various day-to-day activities that could help enable independent living for young disabled people with the right support, such as using the telephone, traveling on public transport and just going out and having a good time! ‘Let’s Go!’ included sequences in which people with learning disabilities used the technologies of the time, including SLR cameras and computers. The programme, shown every Sunday morning on the BBC, actively promoted the use of new and emerging technologies to directly benefit people with learning disabilities and presented the vision of inclusion for this population that Brian campaigned for in so many other ways throughout his life. Lord Rix instilled the same goals and values at the heart of the Rix Centre as it was established more than 40 years later at the University of East London.