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Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre


Department of Genetics hosts its own Access Guide information on the Department of Genetics website. Please find full details at:

Contact Details

Downing Street,
Cambridge CB2 3EH
01223 333 999
01223 333 992

Access Issues

Mr John Roote
01223 765 124
01223 333 992

Location, Services and Transport

Downing Site. See separate entry for Downing Site.

General Information

Most of the department is accessible. An access audit has recently taken place, and the department has improved disabled access to the building in accordance with its recommendations.


No smoking anywhere in the building.

Medical facilities

First aiders in department and on site.

Emergency procedures

Evacuation chairs on every floor.

Physical Access


Several steps to main entrance, with handrail. Wheelchair lift to main entrance and push-button entrance access. Low counter at reception.

Number of floors

Five floors in total, including basement.

Lifts and stairs

Large, modern lift to all floors except mezzanine, which includes some offices, FlyBase and Bateson Seminar Room. Stairs all have continuous handrails.

Lecture theatres

Please note the Biffen Lecture Theatre is not owned or used by the Department of Genetics.

Biffen Lecture Theatre accessible via ramp outside building.

Seminar/teaching rooms

SBS Bioinformatics Teaching Facility and Part II teaching rooms have level access from lift. Laboratory areas have level access from lift. Bateson Seminar Room only accessible via steep stairs.


Level access from lift through double doors. Spacious and carpeted, with moveable furniture. Staffed half the time, and staff will help. Most books accessible.

Computer facilities

PWF computers in library. Laptops also allowed in library, and wireless internet is available.


Disabled toilet on ground floor near reception area.

Common room/seminar room

Level access from lift. Smooth and spacious, with moveable furniture. Small kitchen.


  • Biffen lecture theatre, located in the building but not strictly part of the department, has ramped access through a wide door.

Visual Impairments

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs welcome.

Computer facilities

Currently no special hardware or software for visually impaired users. Could be acquired if needed.

Large print, Braille and audio

Large print information on prior request.

Library and magnification equipment

Good lighting, with mostly clear, bright signs. Photocopier available. Other facilities could be acquired if needed.

Signs and wayfinding

Good signs all around building, and the department is not large or complicated.


  • Pathways around the outside of the department, currently cluttered and unmarked, are due to be improved soon.
  • If you have any concerns, please contact the department before visiting so that assistance can be arranged if needed.

Hearing Impairments

Induction loops

Induction loops in Biffen lecture theatre and teaching rooms.

Portable inducation loop available from reception.


  • Fire alarm due to be adapted for use with portable vibrating alarms.
  • Teaching rooms, lecture theatre and library are carpeted and softly furnished, with good acoustics.

Specific Learning Difficulties and Mental Health Issues

Arrangements for members with Specific Learning Difficulties are on an individual basis, in conjunction with the Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre. Discuss your needs with the Disability Liaison Officer.

Planned Access Improvements

Pathways will be cleared and marked. Fire alarm due to be adapted for hearing impairments. Other adaptations can be made as necessary.

The information on this page is the responsibility of the Department of Genetics. The ADRC updates information as it is received from the Department. This page was last updated on 29th May 2012. To ensure the information contained here is current, please check with the Department of Genetics.