Imperial College London

Making Imperial AccessAble to all

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Amy & David from AccessAble with Nick Roalfe and Maggie Taylor from Estates Operations and a new plaque to mark our commitment to the scheme

L-R: Amy and David from AccessAble with Nick Roalfe, Director of Estates Operations, and Maggie Taylor

Anyone with accessibility challenges can see online how Imperial buildings will work for them

There are more than 100 buildings and 385 teaching/meeting spaces across Imperial’s campuses.

An updated detailed guide to around 80 of these buildings and most of these spaces for anyone with accessibility needs is now available, thanks to our collaboration with the not for profit organisation AccessAble.

We’ve been working with AccessAble since 2012 to produce the guides, which include photographs, and include everything from handrails to hearing loops, walking distances, toilets and parking, and adaptations in accommodation.

Usually around 20 per cent of the college estate is re-surveyed each year, or just an area or building where we’ve carried out building and project works and made alterations, to update. Earlier this year though, virtually the whole estate was surveyed for a complete update. Grad pads, residences and new buildings, such as Dyson at South Kensington and MSRH and I Hub at White City, being included for the first time ever.

The surveys took around six weeks to complete, and even longer in the planning. Estates Operations Assistant Building Manager Maggie Taylor started work on the project last September, arranging permissions and access to buildings and coordinating with surveyors from AccessAble.

In a single building there can be multiple occupants, so part of the challenge was to ensure that the whole building could be accessed in one go.  Maggie liaised with many people to achieve permissions, working with among others, Charles Gallagher, Head of Commercial Operations and her Building Manager and Assistant Building Manager colleagues in Estates Operations.

She had project support from Ivan Carromero Manzano, Administrative Assistant in the Projects Team in Estates Operations.

Maggie said: “It was a huge learning curve – about the college and the buildings – and about AccessAble. I’m happy and pleased to have done it.”

At a Lunch and Learn to share news of the updated guide across the College, Nick Roalfe, Director of Estates Operations, said: “We’re proud to work with AccessAble to provide independently assessed accessibility information on our College Buildings. We hope that you find the guides a helpful resource. We know there’s always more we can do, and we’ll keep listening to the feedback we receive from our student, staff and visitors.”

Anna Nelson, Executive Director of AccessAble said: “The College have made a significant investment in accessibility, working in partnership with AccessAble to ensure that vital, in-depth access information to all buildings is available for students, visitors and staff. 

It has been a fantastic partnership and we hope other partners across the UK will look to follow the College’s example of putting inclusion at the heart of staff and student experience.”

The next re-survey update is already being planned, as there are extensive works in the pipeline across the estate, including to Blackett at South Kensington.

There are 125,000 places covered by guides by AccessAble, founded by Dr Gregory Burke in 2000, following an idea which was born out of personal experience.

Visit the guide.

Reporter

Janet Carberry

Janet Carberry
Estates Division

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 8326
Email: j.carberry@imperial.ac.uk

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