As part of our Welcome Week activities on Thursday 21 September, QMUL was presented with a plaque to mark the work we have undertaken with DisabledGo to provide access guides to all our buildings.
L-R: Sadie Setchell and Niall Morrissey from the Disability and Dyslexia Service, Sarah Cowls (Director of Student and Academic Services), Naomi Watkins from DisabledGo, Simon Jarvis (Head of Disability and Dyslexia Service), Katherine Toomey (Disabled and Specific Learning Difficulties Representative from the Students’ Union) and Rebecca Lingwood (Vice-Principal for Student Experience Teaching and Learning)
Speaking at the unveiling, Professor Rebecca Lingwood, Vice-Principal (Student Experience, Teaching and Learning) said: “Queen Mary has a proud history of welcoming and nurturing the most talented individuals, regardless of background. We are committed to providing an inclusive environment where our diverse community of staff and students can thrive.
“DisabledGo’s mission is to maximise independence and choice for disabled people in accessing their local area, and I’m proud to receive this plaque on behalf of Queen Mary, commemorating our collaboration with them.
“Our work together, led by our Disability and Dyslexia Service, means that we now have access information for all Queen Mary campuses, providing an improved university experience for all our students.
“As the only campus-based university in central London, Queen Mary has always been a natural choice for disabled students. The work we have undertaken with DisabledGo demonstrates our commitment to continuing to make QMUL an attractive destination for disabled students.”
The ceremony was attended by Naomi Watkins, Business Development Manager at DisabledGo, who commented: “I am delighted to present Queen Mary University of London with this plaque on behalf of DisabledGo.
“The plaque is to acknowledge the commitment Queen Mary has made to provide detailed accessibility information.
“DisabledGo have sent out surveyors in person to collect detailed access information across the university. This information is available online, free of charge to students, staff and visitors, and enables users to have the independence to check access for themselves ahead of their visit.
“Our founder, Gregory, created DisabledGo because he believed that everyone should be able to access their community. As a wheelchair user himself, he had experienced some of the barriers that people face when going about their daily lives.
“He would telephone cafes, bars and the university he wanted to attend to ask about access and invariably the information would come up short.
“The access guides allow users to find out correct and objective information about the access of a location. Whether there is an accessible toilet, or hearing loop available, or whether someone is available who speaks British Sign Language.
“Equally, if someone is anxious about their visit they can have a look at the access guides in advance to prepare themselves on where they are going.
“I’m thrilled that QMUL have become one of our 300 partners, which includes universities, colleges, local authorities and businesses, and I look forward to continuing to work towards removing accessibility barriers together.”
Katherine Toomey, Disabled and Specific Learning Difficulties Representative from the Students’ Union, also spoke at the event.
“The access guides have made a massive difference to my life. I can now look up the buildings I need to get to, rather than head out to a lecture without actually knowing if I’d be able to access it. I would like to see more work done on accessibility at Queen Mary and I welcome the access guides as a step forward for the institution.”