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Published: 16 February 2017

Campus Accessibility Tours

At the University of Surrey we believe that people of diverse abilities should be able to use our buildings and environment comfortably and safely, as far as possible without special assistance. We want our students, staff and visitors to be able to find their way easily and understand how to use routes through buildings and facilities such as lifts.

Given the wide diversity of the population, a universal design approach, which caters for the broadest range of users from the outset, can result in buildings and places that can be used and enjoyed by everyone. That approach eliminates or reduces the need for expensive changes or retro fits to meet the needs of particular groups at a later stage.

In order to make our facilities available to all, the University of Surrey has implemented a programme of works to improve physical access for people with disabilities.

As part of this process, regular Campus Accessibility Tours take place in the Spring and Autumn each year.  In March 2015 a tour took place on the main campus, and in December 2015 we visited the School of Veterinary Medicine. With support from disabled staff and student representatives, a group consisting of members from Security, Health and Safety, Equality and Diversity and the Additional Learning Support teams paid particular attention to the potential impact on mobility impaired, hearing and visually impaired users.

The group’s report highlighted positive aspects such as improved provision of disabled car parking, well selected handrails positioned at perfect height, appropriate height of tables in study areas, smooth thresholds into the disabled toilets and into the lifts, and provision of removable seats and desks in the lecture theatres. The report also raised a number of areas where improvements could be made.

Campus Accessibility Tour feedback is fed directly to Estates and Facilities Management and captured in a Disability Access Matrix.  The following improvements have been undertaken over the past year:

  • The missing handrails on the external steps between Senate House and Robert Boyle Building have been replaced by a centrally mounted dual continuous stainless steel handrail costing £6270.

  • We carried out further work to improve the access to Twyford Court E, D, and F and G, H and J by installing dropped kerbs costing £12,500.

  • New hearing loop equipment has been installed in 03MS01, Lecture Theatres D, G and E at a cost of £12,204.

  • Updated signage has been placed in the lecture theatres specifically for disabled people at a cost of £2186.

  • The tills in Hillside restaurant now include a visual display which assists everybody but particularly customers with a hearing impairment.

We have a continual programme of improvements in place. Wherever there are challenges we will work with individuals to overcome them and to provide safe and independent access. We wish to engage all members of the campus community to make improvements for the benefit of all.

If you would like more information or would like to get involved please contact: equality-diversity@surrey.ac.uk

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