Inclusive design of the environment (accessibility audit of buildings etc.)
People are more used to thinking about how disabled people access buildings. This is obviously an important consideration for universities. If disabled students cannot get in the building in the first place they cannot access the teaching. However, accessibility is more than just providing ramps into buildings. There are many other considerations and improvements can be made to buildings which are of benefit to other groups of students other than those with mobility impairments e.g.:
- visual impairment - painting tops of stairs white;
- specific learning difficulties - clear signage;
- deaf students - loop systems in lecture theatres.
The best place to start researching issues relating to accessible building design is the Centre for Accessible Environments:
Manchester City Council action plan on access plus a guide to producing an accessible environment: