“The Access Forum is great opportunity for students and staff to help shape policy and procedure for disabled people at the University”
(Student Support Office)
The aim of the University of Essex Access Forum is to be a positive and proactive force, promoting excellence (and progress towards excellence) in the provision of access in all aspects of life at the University of Essex.
'Access' in this context relates to the ability of all
members of the university community (students, staff and visitors) to
participate as fully and equally as possible in the life of the
university. It has a particular, though not exclusive, concern for
matters relating to disability.
The EAF is informed by the Social Model of Disability, which separates the notion of impairment (individual) from disability (social), and focuses attention on the enabling and disabling aspects of the social environment .
(NB. non-Essex users should add @essex.ac.uk to create full email address)
The Access Forum (email: access) is a
community of people on campus with diverse roles but a shared interest in
Membership is open to all (staff and students) and has a thriving early membership of 45, with most departments and university bodies represented.
A core group (email: eaf) responsible for day-to-day running comprise:
The EAF meets twice-termly and all are welcome to
attend: details of next meeting
The EAF was established in October 2007, partly an outcome of the University of Essex Disability Equality Scheme, but also in response to a longer-term recognition of the need for improved communication channels and decision-making structures on access issues at Essex.
In its early months, the EAF has been active in discussions on a diverse range of projects including: physical improvements to venues (e.g. Lakeside Theatre, Wivenhoe House and East 15); development of ‘design protocols’ for capital works; installation of ‘changing places’ toilets; rethinking of access routes and map design. A key stakeholder in the current under-podia traffic review, the EAF has also responded to nationwide consultations (e.g. on proposed changes to ‘Access to Work’).
The forum has naturally strong links to the Equality and Diversity Unit and Student Support Office, but also works closely with Estates, ISS and others.
Particularly welcome is the support of the Vice-Chancellor, whose early commitment to equality and diversity has been instrumental in the university seeking accreditation with ‘DisabledGo’ and ‘Positive about Disabled People’ status (national schemes promoting, respectively, user-oriented information on public venues, and proactive recruitment).
© Copyright 2008 University of Essex. All rights reserved.
E-mail: eaf (non-Essex users should add @essex.ac.uk to create full e-mail address).
This page was last updated 02/09/2011.