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Fun with access! - helen-louise
baratron
baratron
Fun with access!
Well, that was one of the more amusing/mortifying moments of my life. So I went to the free lunch with the visiting speaker today, & that was all well & good. I had a jacket potato with baked beans, but I could also have had soup or salad. Then I tried to go to the lecture. 40 minutes of wandering later, I got confirmation from UCL Room Bookings that no, that venue really isn't wheelchair accessible.

So it looks like I went to the lunch because it was free but couldn't actually be arsed to attend the lecture afterwards. I need to find the lecturer's email address & apologise.

Also, I went back to the Graduate Office in my department at Birkbeck (= rather small College of the University of London) to complain, & they were shocked that UCL (= large & prestigious College of the U o L) had rooms which weren't accessible! Dudes... Did you think to ask?

Though I found out that the Graduate Symposium isn't in Mill Hill at all, it's in UCL. This would be good, if not for the fact it's currently booked to be in the same venue that I couldn't get into today. Laugh? It's that or cry.

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Comments
From: hatter Date: 24th April 2013 14:26 (UTC) (Link)
Go with the laugh. You tried stuff and found what were actual problems and what things weren't problems at all. Better than not trying and just guessing what the problems might be that might stop you from doing stuff.


the hatter
baratron From: baratron Date: 24th April 2013 15:04 (UTC) (Link)
I refuse to be embarrassed by things that aren't my fault. I do realise it is a nuisance to have to remember to check accessibility when you have one person who's declared themselves to be broken & 149 others who haven't, but it *should* be automatic by now. Though I also accept that I had last term off ill, so there was no guarantee I'd be at College this term. Still...!

I found the lecturer's email address online & dropped her a quick note. Nothing more I can do.
barakta From: barakta Date: 24th April 2013 18:41 (UTC) (Link)
Magic words are "anticipatory duty".

We're working on impressing into all of our departments that if an event is open to the public or outsiders it MUST be in accessible space OR the lack of access must be stated on publicity materials. All grad events and preadmissions must be on ground floor venues as lifts are the unspeakable bane of our lives right now.

I would be very inclined to let Mark know about the accessfail in a FYI cos it will add up to what he can send up his chain of command "my student was unable to attend event because of X".

Wish I could come and defenestrate a bunch of folk for you!
anansi133 From: anansi133 Date: 24th April 2013 16:59 (UTC) (Link)
I'll bet having a stair-climbing robotic wheelchair on hand to lend out would be cheaper than retrofitting the architecture. probably not very comfortable, but I like to think about robotic stair climbing wheelchairs.
nitoda From: nitoda Date: 24th April 2013 22:20 (UTC) (Link)
I don't at all think you need to apologise to the lecturer for your being unable to access the room they were using. Complaining would seem more natural to me. Incredible that they still have rooms which aren't accessible.
baratron From: baratron Date: 24th April 2013 22:39 (UTC) (Link)
Visiting lecturer from another institution. It was hardly her fault!
nitoda From: nitoda Date: 25th April 2013 10:52 (UTC) (Link)
Ah, kinda missed that bit, oops! Still she might want to complain on your behalf to the hosting institution. Certainly it wasn't YOUR fault either. :-)
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