DISABILITY: HOW DISABLED FRIENDLY IS TEESSIDE UNIVERSITY?

Teesside University Campus in 2019

Teesside University has seen massive renovations to its campus, evolving from a just a local university, to a national one.

Despite it being a small campus just a few years ago, it wasn’t the easiest for someone in a wheelchair to get around.

In 2017, in an attempt to combat this problem, the hierarchy at the university unveiled a £300 million “masterplan” to transform the campus over a ten year period.

A big part of these plans is to improve the older buildings and even build new ones to improve accessibility.

There had been constant improvements since they open a new Darlington campus in 2011, including spending around £30 million on the campus heart in 2014.

But the £300 million investment is by a far the biggest to date.

Now two years into this development, has being a disabled student become easier?

Gemma Hall has Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy which means all four of her limbs are stiff.

She has been in a wheelchair all her life but does not let it affect her daily life.

It is estimated that 1 in 400 babies born in the UK have a type of cerebral palsy,

The Office for National Statistics figures indicate that with a birth rate in England and Wales of around 700,000 per year there may be as many as 1,700 new cases of cerebral palsy in children each year.

Gemma has seen massive redevelopments of buildings and watched the campus grow.

But does she think enough is being done to cater for the disabled?

Trainee Sports Journalist at Teesside University from Sheffield but currently living in Middlesbrough. Presenter for TUXtra Radio.

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