The University has commissioned an access audit to evaluate campus accessibility.
The audit, which will be used as a guide for the Disability and Accessibility Committee to improve campus, aims to source any potential problems within the University and prioritise campus improvements due to take place within the next few years.
It states, “As part of its ongoing commitment to improving the campus environment for colleagues, students and visitors, the University needs your input to understand better the challenges some colleagues face accessing buildings and areas of the campus.”
Thomas Ron, Disabled Students’ Officer, said: “The University is sending out an audit for students to highlight problem areas. This is a hugely positive move as it will allow the university to go on more than just anecdotal evidence but hard facts.
“It will show the university many of the issues I have consistently raised and hopefully will see them take some serious action. I look forward to the publication of the audit. I am greatly looking forward to the results.”
Although the audit has not been completed yet some areas are more a cause for concern than others.
Many of the old accommodation blocks are largely inaccessible to disabled students including old Derwent and Langwith as well as some of the older Vanbrugh blocks and James N block.
Even some of the newer blocks are likely to be under scrutiny, with numerous flights of stairs and narrow corridors. A number of Alcuin’s blocks seem to fit this description including J1 and the E blocks.
It is not just accommodation blocks that are being covered by the audit. Lecture halls and seminar rooms are also likely to be accessed with many without induction loops.
Lighting and signage are also areas of concern as how students get onto campus is considered. This could be a particular issue for second and third years who have a long way to travel and do not live on bus routes.
Kallum Taylor, YUSU President: “I would encourage as many students as possible to contribute to the access audit. It’s a positive move by University to look at how campus works for its users, and I hope that they act on its findings.”
The audit can be found here: Access Audit of Campus
All students are encouraged to carry out the survey.