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Associate Professor Janice Rieger


  • Bio/Profile
  • Associate Professor Janice Rieger is an award-winning designer, researcher, educator and curator in the School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Engineering at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Educated at the University of Alberta, York University, University of Manitoba and Queensland University of Technology, her research, policy, education, and practice bridges the arts and sciences to create innovations across inclusive design/design for all, social justice, museum studies & cultural heritage, visual & material culture, and disability research. Rieger’s work focuses on the promotion of an inclusive culture globally through design, advocacy, capacity building and through influencing citizenship behaviour. She is an internationally recognised expert for outstanding contributions to inclusion and is regarded as a thought-leader who shapes new inclusive theories and methods. Rieger leads local, national and international teams across diverse sectors to create cultures of inclusion — with universities to create inclusive programs, policies and curriculum; with industry partners and federal, state and local governments to complete access audits and develop inclusive policies; and with museums and galleries to create inclusive exhibitions, programming and environments. She has been invited as a visiting scholar to the University of Hasselt (Belgium) and L'Universit√© Catholique de Lille (France). Rieger has been awarded a Fellowship with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), a Fellowship from the Canadian Federation of University Women part of United Nations (ECOSOC) Graduate Women International, and as a Senior Fellow with the Higher Education Academy(HEA), UK. She holds advisory positions across the Queensland museum and gallery sector, and is regularly invited to consult with the sector to increase inclusion and access to our cultural heritage with industry bodies like Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Museum of Brisbane, Museum and Galleries Queensland and Public Galleries Queensland. Most recently, Rieger was elected to National Council in Canberra for the Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA). She has also been appointed to national design juries by the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies, held state, town and city council appointed board positions, was a part of the National Congress Committee, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Canada, Canadian Disability Studies Association, and has worked with various levels of government to create inclusion across sectors in Australia, Canada, and the USA. Rieger has spent time overseas as an international member of the European Society for Disability Research, where she co-facilitated the international doctoral school, Disability Mundus. She is also on the Scientific Advisory Board for Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (USA). Rieger’s research is innovative in its reframing of inclusion through new methods and methodological approaches. She has created a new methodology (Doing Embodied Mapping/s) and method (Dialoguing while Wandering) and this original qualitative inquiry has been recognised with an invited keynote address to the International Institute for Qualitative Methods conference (2019) and won prestigious awards, Presidents Doctoral Prize of Distinction, and a Queen Elizabeth II Award. She has been advocating for inclusion and social justice for over twenty-five years and since 2011 has been the recipient of government awards for her significant contributions to creating access and inclusion for all, through a Mayor’s Award from The City of Calgary, Access Recognition Award (one annual award city-wide of over 1.3 million people) and a Government of Alberta Leadership Award for Disability (one state-wide annual award out of over 4 million people). Rieger’s significant contributions to industry and practice in Australia has been recognised through three national awards: a Good Design Award Australia for Social Design (2021); Museums and Galleries National Award (MAGNA), Australian Museum and Galleries Association (AMaGA) (2019); andGood Design Australia Award for Service Design (2021). Rieger has also been the recipient of several international awards, including the Carol Price Shanis Award (USA) and in 2022 she was awarded a Gold Award, International Award in Universal Design, for Inclusive Culture, from the International Association for Universal Design (IAUD). The large team that Rieger led were the only Australian recipients, and this award is the only international award in universal design. In 2019, Rieger and her team at QUT were invited to be the first non-European members of the European Institute for Design and Disability-Design for All (EIDD-DfA). Rieger is now Australia’s leader in Design for All (DfA) where she pioneered the concept of Design for All in Australia during her European Union (EU) commissioned research and international symposium on Design for All (DfA) in 2019. Rieger’s analysis of unstudied aspects of inclusion, and the contexts in which it operates, has had a substantial impact on the field advancing scholar, student, government and practitioners’ understandings of how to co-create inclusion. It has progressed the field beyond early studies of accessibility that rely on a medical model of disability to a co-designed understanding of cultures of inclusion, ability, and socio-spatial justice. Through an Australian Research Council (ARC) Special Research Initiative Project for Australia Society, History, and Culture, “The evolution of disability arts in Australia: practices, legacies, and cultural heritage”, Rieger is creating the first National Disability Arts Archive in Australia. Rieger has delivered international keynotes and regularly presents her work to academic, government and industry audiences across five continents. She creates impact beyond the academy and regularly uses her research and practice to lead public debate and dialogue around inclusive design/design for all and socio-spatial justice. She has been invited for interviews with the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) and been interviewed as a subject matter expert for national and international radio and news outlets. Rieger has also contributed to social and public policy debates with her publication “Right to Participate: Co-designing Disability Policies in Australia” by the QUT Centre for Justice Briefing Paper Series (2020). Rieger’s expertise in curriculum design, higher education and student experience is often called upon by national and international bodies, and she has worked with the Commonwealth of Australia as a TEQSA Reviewer, with the High Commission of Canada, and with the EU Commission. Her research and teaching focus on creating new fields of knowledge through co-designing cultures of inclusion, and her work in disability, the arts, and design has led to code, policy, curriculum and legislative changes in Australia, North America and Europe. Her Routledge book Design, Disability and Embodimentis in press and she has numerous refereed publications.