A key aim for the University is to have a campus that is accessible for everyone.
The Facilities Directorate has been working hard to improve the accessibility of existing areas of campus, as well as to make equality of access a top consideration in the planning of new buildings.
In light of #DisabilityHistoryMonth we thought that this would be a great opportunity to showcase the accessibility works that have taken place across campus over the past years.
Discovery Way opens up campus
The completion of Nexus on the eastern edge of the University has opened up a new accessible route onto campus. The Discovery Way entrance is located on Woodhouse Lane, and provides a step-free route to the Orange Zone car park and E C Stoner Building, and from there to The Edge, Roger Stevens, Chancellor’s Court and beyond.
Chemistry lift completed
The new lift in the School of Chemistry has now been completed, providing an accessible route to lecture theatres A and B.
Accessible water fountain fitted
A bespoke-designed water fountain has been installed on the Precinct. The fountain has two water spouts, one of which is positioned so that it is easily accessible for wheelchair users. Fill up your water bottle there and help with the University’s #2023PlasticFree Pledge!
Campus map updated with new defibrillators
Further improvements to external steps on campus
There have been further improvements made to external steps across campus. Handrails have been fitted on the steps under the Roger Stevens Building leading to the Astbury Centre and on the steps leading down to the Edward Boyle Library from the Social Sciences Building. The steps have been lined with yellow paint to further improve campus accessibility.
Ensuring digital accessibility for all
In response to new legislation setting a higher expectation for digital accessibility, the University has been taking steps to recognise where accessibility can be improved across our digital estate. An accessibility statement has been published on the University’s corporate website explaining which areas of the estate are not yet fully accessible, and how we plan to improve their accessibility.
The University has also engaged a third-party auditor to test our websites’ compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Following on from this the University Communications team is running awareness sessions for relevant staff across the University to explain what is needed to improve our accessibility further.
Makeover for University’s main entrance
A large project to improve the look and general accessibility around the main entrance to the University has now been completed. Previously the area where the Michael Sadler Building meets the side of the Parkinson Building had sloping feathered steps on one side, and uneven ground without a clear pathway on the other. These feathered steps have been removed and replaced with a green area featuring a newly planted semi-mature tree. On the other side, the seating area has been redone with more attractive furniture, improved landscaping and clear accessible routes to allow easy access from Woodhouse Lane onto University Road.
Parkinson Building now accessible for all
The Parkinson Building, our most iconic building on campus, is now more accessible than ever following the completion of work to upgrade the Parkinson steps and handrails and install a lift at the main entrance of the building. For the first time in its history, the University has made it possible for all visitors, students and staff to enter the Parkinson Building together using the main entrance.
Sabiha Patel, Head of Equality and Inclusion, commented: “I am grateful to the University and delighted with this development to Parkinson Building. Full access to our buildings is an essential first step to inclusion. Everyone should now be able to enter the building easily and take advantage of all the opportunities it affords.”