My experience of Warwick as a disabled student
For this post, I thought I’d give you some insight into my experience so far of Warwick as a student with a disability – some of you may be in a similar position (or just interested!).
Firstly, though, I must make clear that these are my experiences and another student with a disability at Warwick may have a different experience. Secondly, I have a physical disability (cerebral palsy) and use a wheelchair, so most of my experiences will be centred around that.
The Campus Environment
One of the reasons Warwick appealed to me was because it is campus-based. In terms of physical accessibility, it is a lot easier for me to navigate a contained space than a city. Although the campus is relatively large, most of my teaching and commitments for the past two years have been based in a few buildings, most of which are located on central campus. It is important to remember that timetabled rooms can be changed throughout the year, so this may not always be the case. Teaching does not always take place in the buildings dedicated to your department either, which may be confusing at first but I suppose it means you get to see more of campus! On occasion, I’ve had to go to Westwood campus, which is a little further out from where I’m based, but personally this hasn’t been too bad. Based on my own experience, it may be possible to change the location of your classes should access issues arise. Last term (Summer 2019), renovation work commenced on the Arts Centre. So far this hasn’t compromised ease of access for me, and Disability Services are usually available to discuss and alert me to any potential access issues so that they can hopefully be overcome. Most places on campus I’ve been to have ramp or lift access, and is relatively flat.
The university has a range of support systems in place to help students with disabilities. Personally, my first port of call would be Disability Services who have been very helpful to me during my time here. I may also talk to my Personal Tutor or other members of staff within the Sociology Department, depending on the nature of the query.
For me, the first year at University and living away from home was very daunting as I’d never done it before. I have remained in campus accommodation throughout my time at Warwick because the set up I have currently meets my needs and feels very safe. My room has an automatic door so I am able to come and go independently, and is slightly bigger to accommodate my wheelchairs, for example. I have found the accommodation team to be very approachable and willing to assist with any queries I may have.
I have found the University as a whole to be very welcoming to students with disabilities, and most services I’ve encountered have considered the potential needs of disabled people.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the section below.