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Disability Resource Centre


Contact Details

Sidgwick Avenue,
Cambridge, CB3 9DF
01223 335 700
01223 335 800

Access Issues

Tutorial office
01223 335 700
01223 335 800

Location, Services and Transport


Newnham College is located on Sidgwick Avenue, opposite the Sidgwick Site. Half a mile from the city centre, via a busy road. Quarter mile to Downing Site and New Museums Site. Quarter mile to University Library, walking through the Sidgwick Site.


Sidgwick Avenue can get very busy with cars and bicycles, there are usually lots of parked cars. The pavements are narrow and uneven, with few dropped kerbs and few safe crossing places. Newnham Walk and Grange Road are quieter.

Services and shops

There is a small convenience store on Newnham Road, or it is half a mile into the city centre.


Three car parks, all with level entrances to College. Parking permits for disabled students can be arranged. Visitors advised to contact the Porters Lodge prior to arrival to discuss arrangements for parking on site. Disabled visitors should contact the Senior Porters to reserve a space in advance.

General Information

Around 400 undergraduates and 285 postgraduates. For women only. Most of Newnham College is at ground level, and the majority of the rooms are accessed via a long corridor. This corridor is mainly all on one level but has ramps where needed. Two manual wheelchairs are available to borrow. The College has experience of working with people with different abilities and disabilities, and will ensure that all routes and facilities are clearly explained and that assistance is available throughout the visit when requested in advance.


The College has a smoke-free policy. A copy of this policy is available below:

Medical facilities

The College Nurse is available to see students daily during the week in full term.  Appointments can be booked on Moodle (tel. 01223 335 705).

Emergency procedures

Emergency instructions displayed throughout. Contact the Porters' Lodge, staffed 24 hours. All students, staff and Senior Members have evacuation training, and specific plans are drawn up for individuals when required.

Accommodation and Catering

Wheelchair-accessible rooms

There is one fully accessible en-suite bedroom and four accessible ready en-suite bedrooms in the Dorothy Garrod Building.

Other rooms

Lots of ground floor rooms with nearby accessible bathrooms. 

There is at least one bath in every hall (except in the Dorothy Garrod Building, where all the rooms are en-suite shower rooms).

Live-in assistants and assistance dogs

One live-in assistant at a time could be accommodated, in one of the graduate flats on the ground floor in the Rosalind Franklin Building. Assistance dogs could possibly be accommodated, but would need to be discussed well in advance.

Early induction and vacation stays

Staying over the vacation periods can be arranged with tutorial permission, although students may be asked to change rooms.

Catering arrangements

The buttery serves three meals a day, and there are one or two formal halls a week during term. The student kitchens are generally large and suitable for self-catering.  In the Dorothy Garrod Building some of the shared student kitchens have been designed to suit individuals with accessibility requirements.


The college is opening a new Cafe/Bar in the Dorothy Garrod Building, which is on the ground floor and fully accessible.  There are also fully accessible toilets in close proximity

Buttery (Cafeteria)

The buttery and servery opened in May 2007 with full accessible automatic doors and a disabled toilet.

Special diets

Special diets, including gluten, nut and dairy free are usually no problem. Discuss in advance with catering staff.  Any student with a severe allergy should see the College Nurse within 48 hours of arrival in Cambridge.  Witht the students permission, a photo of students with severe allergies is shared with the Kitchen and Porters' Lodge. The Catering Department can provide information on ingredients used in dishes.

Physical Access

College grounds in general

Level access to all entrances. Wheelchair users are advised to enter via the Porters' Lodge Main Entrance, off Sidgwick Avenue (where there is accessible parking available). The grounds and gardens are generally level, and most areas are accessible.

College buildings in general

Most public areas are at ground level. Long, wide corridor, with frequent heavy fire doors. The buttery (cafeteria) has automatic doors at either end of the corridor to allow easy access.


No chapel.

College offices

Ground floor, with wide doors.

Common rooms

 MCR has level access.

Computer facilities

Wolfson room, off library. Fully accessible. Swipecard access after hours. All rooms networked.

Dining hall

Formal dining takes place in College hall in Clough building, which is accessible and has a disabled toilet next door.

Fellows' areas

SCR next to College Hall, level access.


Mostly gravel paths, with some cobbles and large lawns. These are accessible from various points. There are lots of benches and tables spread around the gardens during the warmer months and students are allowed on the grass.


Level access through two sets of sliding doors, with university card access. Spacious, with wide aisles. Large workspaces with moveable chairs. Disabled toilet down the corridor. Lift to upper level and basement, but the first floor and the basement are not currently wheelchair accessible so staff will provide a book-fetching service. More information here:


Recently refurbished. Level access through two double doors, with swipecard security. Lift to upper level. Spacious, with wide aisles. Large workspaces with moveable chairs. Walkway gives access to Old Library. Disabled toilet next door.

Porters' Lodge and post room

Ground floor. Level access via main entrance on Sidgwick Avenue. The post/pigeon holes are in an enclosed room on ground floor with wheelchair access and an automatic door.

Sport facilities

Newnham has a gym on the third floor of the Dorothy Garrod Building, accessible via a lift, full induction is required. There is a sports field and three tennis courts on site. There is no pavilion as College facilities can be used.


There are disabled toilets near the Dorothy Garrod Building (Porters' Lodge, Cafe/Bar and close to the Cynthia Beerbower Room), Sidgwick Dining Hall, outside the library, next to College Hall and the buttery, and on the first floor next to the Lucia Windsor Room.


  • The Old Labs performance space, often used for musical events, has level access. It also has a music practice room with level access.

Visual Impairments

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs could probably be accommodated, 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 information and letters on request.

Library and magnification equipment

No special facilities currently. Staff are willing to enlarge text on PC or photocopier. There is good lighting.

Signs and wayfinding

There is clear signage around the corridors with clear directions.  There are maps displayed at regular intervals along corridor.


  • Low level lighting in garden at night has recently been improved.
  • Most staircases have marked stairs and handrails.
  • Good lighting generally, and large windows.

Hearing Impairments

Induction loops

There is an induction hearing loop covering the Porters' Lodge entrance desk and another in the Cynthia Beerbower Room in the Dorothy Garrod Building.


Vibrating pillow alarms are available.


  • Regulations are in place to minimise noise disturbance in evenings and to limit the times musical instruments can be played.
  • Most corridors and staircases carpeted and softly furnished.

Specific Learning Difficulties and Mental Health Issues

Arrangements made on an individual basis.

The information on this page is the responsibility of Newnham College. The DRC updates information as it is received from the college. This page was last updated on 20th June 2018. To ensure the information contained here is current, please check with Newnham College.