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The Disability Coordinator is based in the Student Counselling and Welfare Service (located on the Ground Floor of the Geography Building on the Mile End site), which offers free and confidential service to all students of Queen Mary and Westfield College. Advice and guidance is available on College policies, equipment, study aids, specialist strategies, human support exam arrangements, specialist funding sources and more.
Some of the buildings on the Mile End site are of listed status and are over 100 years old, so access can be a problem in these buildings. However, around 2/3 of the buildings were built within the last 20 years, and an ongoing refurbishment programme has attempted to address many of the physical access problems. A map of the College with details of accessible entrances, bathroom facilities and lifts is available. In cases where students have made early contact, the Time-tabling Officer may be able to make adjustments so the most suitable teaching rooms are used wherever possible.
Classroom support and personal helpers can be organised through the Disability Coordinator, including BSL interpreters, note takers, laboratory assistants, sighted helpers and campus mobility workers. Advice and help can also be given in obtaining special equipment which might be needed in the classroom, including tape recorders, note taking devices, portable computer equipment and radio aid equipment. Visually impaired students are given help arranging for transcription support to provide course materials in an accessible format (Braille, enlarged print, diskette or audio tape.) Special arrangements can be made to facilitate the taking of examinations, including allocation of extra time, provision of assistive technology equipment or human support, holding examinations in accessible rooms with suitable furniture .
Two single study bedrooms, with en-suite bathroom facilities and shared kitchen with low-level utilities are available for wheelchair users. One 3-bedroom flat with wheelchair access to two en-suite bedrooms, whilst the third is suitable for use by a personal carer. Kitchen facilities have been adapted to accommodate wheelchair access. Disabled students are given priority to ground floor accommodation on campus if requested. Vibrating fire or door alarms can be provided for deaf students. Guide dogs for the blind and deaf are welcome on campus. There are three dining rooms in the main catering building, ranging from a café to a restaurant with table service, plus modern Café-bar at Mile End and the Restaurant at College Hall, Charterhouse Square. All are accessible for wheelchair users, including restroom/toilet facilities.
Wheelchair accessible computer workstations are found on the ground floor of the library. A computer with screen-reader, large monitor and enlargement software is also available in the library. Students may be able to obtain personal computer equipment and assistive technology packages to help develop independent methods of studying. Extended loan facilities at the library.
All three floors of the Main Library are accessible by a public lift, and each floor has accessible toilet facilities. Alternative access to the building for wheelchair users, visually impaired students or students who find the main revolving door difficult to use is available by a separate door. For visually impaired users, the computer catalogue can be accessed from a dedicated library terminal with speech output. Assistive technology equipment is available for booking by students who have a print impairment (blind/visually impaired or dyslexic students) and their helpers (e.g. transcription workers for visually impaired students). This currently consists of a PC with a 20” monitor, screen reader and enlargement software. A scanner with text-reader software allows print impaired students or their helpers to convert print material into an accessible format while working in the library. Braille translation software and a Braille embosser are available to convert documents into Braille for permanent reference.
Number 25 bus (running between Oxford Circus and Ilford) stops outside the College, and operates mobility buses along the route. Closest station to campus with unaided access for wheelchair users is Bow Church on the Docklands Light Railway system (station is near to No. 25 bus stop). The College is very close to the City of London, the financial centre of the capital. A map giving details of access to various sites and facilities in the City is available from the Counselling and Welfare Service.
The Student Union building was recently developed to improve disabled access: the majority of the building are fully accessible for wheelchair users. College Health Centre on campus is wheelchair accessible. Sign language interpretation could be arranged in advance. Welfare advice and counselling service are available in the same building, individually by appointment or as group counselling. Non-subject based dyslexia tutorial support is available in the Learning Development Unit, in the form of one-to-one support or group seminars.