Exeter, Devon UK • Jul 18, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Comment Is the hilly campus really as bad as you think?

Is the hilly campus really as bad as you think?

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If there is one thing that I hear on a regular basis since being at Exeter, it is the constant groans and moans about working those leg muscles up cardiac hill or the distance from one lecture to another. Now, for someone who can’t walk long distances due to my disability and so has to either drive or use my wheelchair, I can tell you now that it isn’t so bad, and the accessibility on campus could be much, much worse.

I have found the accessibility on campus absolutely fantastic

Since moving into Lafrowda last month, I have found the accessibility on campus absolutely fantastic. I suffer from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which causes chronic pain in my joints and also fatigue. This means that I am yet to take that lovely stroll from my block to the Peter Chalk centre, and I doubt I will be doing it any time soon. However, the alternatives provided by the university have made it possible for me to attend all lectures and seminars I am able to. For example, I have my car with me (much to the joy of my flatmates when we go food shopping!) and this has made it so easy to get to lectures as all buildings have disabled bays right outside. This means even on a bad day I am able to get close to the building with as little walking possible.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Handicapped_Accessible_sign.svg

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Handicapped_Accessible_sign.svg

On days where I have had to take strong medication and am unable to drive, I use my wheelchair to get around if I feel up to it. The accessibility of the route from Lafrowda to the forum is fantastic, obviously stairs aren’t an option, but the alternative routes available make sure this isn’t an issue. Unfortunately, the hills are quite killer but luckily my electric wheelchair makes this very simple – without this I feel my arm muscles would be looking slightly like the Hulk by now.

Before I came to Exeter, I made them well aware of my needs and they were more than happy to do everything they could to ensure I could live independently. I am living in halls with 6 other students but I have an adapted room and bathroom. There is room to store my wheelchair, pull cords in case of emergencies, and grab rails/shower seats in the bathroom. This has allowed me to live comfortably with other people as a ‘normal’ student.

next time you’re braving the cold and pushing yourself up forum hill, take a look around at how beautiful this campus is

Yes, the hills on campus can be a nightmare, but next time you’re braving the cold and pushing yourself up forum hill, take a look around at how beautiful this campus is. Enjoy the freedom to do what you want when you want, and appreciate how brilliant this university is at allowing people with disabilities to do the same.

 

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