Attending a disability friendly university is integral to a positive university experience for disabled students. Newman University is one of the few universities in the UK with special adaptations on campus to accommodate disabled individuals.

As a disabled person myself, I use a wheelchair and I am supported by a variety of services provided and encouraged through the university. My health leaves me with symptoms such as fatigue, widespread pain, and concentration issues. To assist and aid these issues, Newman helped me by supporting my use of a wheelchair, providing accessible parking and entrances to the campus. They also aided my mental health with a mentor whom I met with once every two weeks. For my first year, this was invaluable, I had someone to talk to about the difficulties of managing a disability with university life, and that was integral to my time at Newman. Alongside the university support, there are a range of programmes run by the government that allow for support and physical aids during your studies. Through these schemes I was able to purchase a laptop that contained several fantastic pieces of software. They make life so much easier; I am able to record lectures, dictate my notes and essays, and check the details of my work for any mistakes.

With several lifts to accommodate the free and easy movement of wheelchair users, Newman is the most accessible university I have found, not only in the West Midlands but in the UK as a whole. In addition to this, Newman boasts height adjustable study tables in the library, this is incredibly useful as it means wheelchair users can access study tables at a height that is comfortable for them. Further physical adaptations are available in The Sanctuary (the cafeteria of Newman University). Here, table service is offered to students to aid and avoid the issues of manoeuvring a wheelchair while carrying food. To the able bodied these adaptations appear cosmetic, however they are integral to increasing the quality of experience for disabled students during their time at Newman.

However, it is not simply the physical adaptations Newman has in place that aid the welcoming atmosphere and friendly attitude towards the disabled. Newman University have a dedicated team working to support those with disabilities and mental health issues. They offer services bespoke to the issues faced by the individual in question, this could be in the form of physical adaptations, coaching, mentoring and ongoing support as a pastoral mentor. To find out more about the services the team can help you with please visit: https://www.newman.ac.uk/knowledge-base/physical-mobility-dexterity-difficulties/.

Newman is the ideal university to attend if you struggle with a disability, with the can-do attitude, equality seeking approach and friendly atmosphere you feel as though anything is achievable. Disability is often seen as a restraint, which in many ways it can be. However, Newman view disability as a special characteristic of you as a person. The staff and fellow students see the person behind the disability, your personality, thoughts, and opinions are valued equally. Disability equality is rare, however at Newman it is commonplace.
– Jessica Muxlow –