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Disability Resource Centre


Contact Details

Sarah Pickard, Academic Registrar
Regent Street,
Cambridge, CB2 1DQ
01223 334 811

Access Issues

Sarah Pickard, Academic Registrar
01223 334 811

Location, Services and Transport


Regent Street, a five minute walk from the main centre. Back gate straight to the Downing Site. A five minute walk to the New Museums Site. 15–20 minute walk to the Sidgwick Site and the University Library.


Regent Street is busy, with heavy traffic and parked cars. Pavements are not huge and are often cluttered with bicycles.

Services and shops

Many restaurants and shops on Regent Street. Main city centre also very close.


Parking in College, available by prior arrangement. There are a couple of public disabled parking bays in Regent Street.

Other transport options

Central bus station a five minute walk away.

General Information

Approximately 360 undergraduates and 180 postgraduates. For men and women.


No smoking in any College building and only in designated outdoor spaces.

Medical facilities

Nurse available every weekday (tel. 01223 334 817),

Emergency procedures

Please report to Porters' Lodge if you will require assistance in an emergency. Evacuation chairs in some buildings.

Accommodation and Catering

Wheelchair-accessible rooms

Six adapted en suite rooms, three usually reserved for graduate students.

Other rooms

Lots of ground floor rooms available, which can be adapted for individual needs. 40% of the student rooms are en suite.

Live-in assistants and assistance dogs

Live-in assistants and dogs a possibility, decided on an individual basis.

Early induction and vacation stays

Possibly, again decided on an individual basis. Not free of charge.

Catering arrangements

Kitchen facilities depend on where you live. One undergraduate and two postgraduate kitchens are adapted for wheelchair users but most are not designed for full self-catering. Arrangements for extra facilities may be possible on an individual basis.

Special diets

Speak to catering staff regarding special diets.

Physical Access

College grounds in general

Level access at main entrance. Level access, although fairly narrow, from Downing Site and Lensfield Road. Generally flat, but paths are mostly gravel, which can be very hard for wheelchairs. The College site is very large.

College buildings in general

Hall and cafeteria are fully accessible. Main College offices fully accessible. Most other buildings accessible, although often by side doors and back ways.


Level access to Butterfield Bar via side door. Level, smooth and spacious inside. Accessible toilet.


Fully accessible with accessible toilet.


Ramp to chapel entrance, through double doors. Spacious inside. Fixed pews.

College offices

All main College offices fully accessible.

Common rooms

JCR has level access and an accessible toilet. MCR is ramped, through heavy doors.

Computer facilities

Ramped entrance through two sets of double doors and a security keypad. Level access to ramped entrance is only via a large area of grass, a locked gate, and the Rose Garden.

Dining Hall

Next to cafeteria and fully accessible. Spacious inside, with moveable chairs.


Gardens have level gravel paths and large lawns, both difficult for wheelchairs. Some benches.


Two laundries on site. Both laundries have one step at entrance, and a heavy door.


Main door is revolving. Ramped access via adjacent accessible door which can be opened with authorised University cards (contact staff if your card is not enabled and you need to use this door). Lift to all floors. Accessible toilet in basement.

Porters' Lodge and post room

Ramped access via side entrance.

Sport facilities

Accesible gym. Sports fields are off Grantchester Road. Pavilion with accessible toilets and changing facilities.


Accessible toilets near Porters' Lodge, basement of Library, Butterfield Bar, by the SCR, B and C staircases, on the first floor of the Howard Building and lower ground floor of the Howard Theatre (accesible via lift).


  • Howard Building, used for conferences and meetings. Level access to ground floor. Lift to upper floor. Accessible toilet on first floor.
  • Howard Theatre, used for plays, concerts, lectures, conferences and meetings. Level access to ground floor, lift to others. Accessible toilet on lower ground floor.

Visual Impairments

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs possible, but discuss in advance.

Computer facilities

Special hardware or software for visually impaired users could be acquired if necessary.

Large print, Braille and audio

Large print letters and information on request. Lift and security keypads in Braille, some touch sensitive. Many directional signs include braille.

Library and magnification equipment

Page magnifiers available for student use. Good general lighting plus individual lighting at each study space. Printed information available on cream paper.

Signs and wayfinding

Good signposting, with directional signs including Braille. Site is very large, but most places are easily located with directions.


  • Few markings on steps. Take particular care outside library, where there is an unmarked sharp drop on all sides, other than the ramp.

Hearing Impairments

Induction loops

Inductions loops fitted in some rooms and administrative offices as well as in the Dining Hall, Library, Porters' Lodge, Howard Building, Howard Theatre.


Visual or sensory alarms are or can be installed in adapted rooms.


  • Library very quiet.
  • Soft furnishings in bar.

Specific Learning Difficulties and Mental Health Issues

Arrangements for students with Specific Learning Difficulties and mental health issues are on an individual basis, in conjunction with the Disability Resource Centre. Discuss your needs with your Tutor.

Planned Access Improvements

We are constantly reviewing and amending our accessibility.

The information on this page is the responsibility of Downing College. The DRC updates information as it is received from the college. This page was last updated on 8th May 2017. To ensure the information contained here is current, please check with Downing College.