Disability can affect a person in many ways. Most people who are born with a disability or sustain an injury that leaves them disabled often find it difficult to overcome barriers that others don’t even have to think about. Simple actions such as climbing the stairs or relieving yourself in a toilet become extremely difficult. Builders, developers and contractors generally try to appeal to the mass population, which is why many of the oldest buildings in England don’t have essential facilities for disabled people. Offering accessible accommodation to university students is a pressing need.
More than 9.4 million people in England have some sort of disability. In order to survive in this competitive economy, many people enrol in colleges and universities to get a degree. However, college education is not cheap at all. Many people who graduate have to pay a small fortune to the government as student loans. Many students often work double time in order to complete their studies and earn money on the side. Unfortunately, the situation is dire for disabled students. If you are looking for affordable accommodation near a university, disabled students generally face a lot of obstacles.
Studies conducted by private firms such as Aspen Woolf show that almost 30% of the dormitories located close to university campuses don’t offer essential accessibility features for disabled students. For instance, many dorms do not have acceptable toilet facilities for disabled students who need hoists in order to use the lavatory. The study also shows that only 25% of university campuses offer freshers’ induction for disabled students.
Many disabled students face plenty of obstacles. Some claim that the student council was not established in an inclusive environment and was mostly inaccessible to them. Furthermore, some students claim that organising the local community to offer care for disabled students was not as easy as they thought it would be. Even though the Government has passed several Acts regarding disability discrimination, it seems that progress is still lacking in several areas. As more disabled students begin enrolling in universities each year, local councils are being urged by private organisations and government bodies to improve their facilities in order to create an acceptable and welcoming environment for disabled people.
While the situation seems pretty dire in certain areas, it’s not all bad. Ever since the Disability Discrimination Act was passed in 2005, numerous private organisations have begun to take notice of the everyday problems that disabled people face. Union councils have also begun to take notice of the plight of disabled students who can’t afford to pay a hefty amount for accommodation each year.
As demand for accessible accommodation has risen considerably in the past few years, rental rates of properties that offer accessibility features and facilities have risen. This means that most disabled students have to book a room well in advance, and also have to pay a higher rental as compared to ordinary accommodation rates.