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Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre


Contact Details

Madingley Rise,
Madingley Road,
Cambridge, CB3 0HA
01223 337 548
01223 337 523

Access Issues

Mrs Virginia Bennett
01223 337 522
01223 337 523

Location, Services and Transport

Madingley Rise, a quiet, open area opposite the West Cambridge Site on Madingley Road. About two miles west of the city centre.


Madingley Road is very busy with traffic. Madingley Rise itself is quiet, and speed is restricted.

Services and shops

Very little in the way of nearby services and shops, except West Cafe at the Hauser Forum on the West Cambridge Site.


Car parks on site, including two designated disabled bays, plus a disabled parking space right outside the main entrance.

Other transport options

Citi 4 bus stop on the West Cambridge Site, over the road.

General Information

One main building - the Hoyle building which is linked at first floor level to the Kavli Institute for Cosmology (Kavli Building) - with separate buildings for the observatory and library, laboratory, and telescopes. Large, pleasant site, with tarmac paths between buildings. There is some undergraduate teaching of Astrophysics parts 2 and 3, but most work at the Institute is research based.


No smoking in any buildings.

Medical facilities

Three first aiders in the department.

Emergency procedures

Fire wardens follow strict procedures, and there is a central assembly point and a fire refuge in the south stairwell of the Kavli Building. Safety manuals, including evacuation instructions and site maps, are given to all members and visitors.

Physical Access


Level access to both the Hoyle and Kavli buildings through wide double doors at main entrances. The Hoyle Building also has an automatic push-button side door, with remote control to allow disabled access out of hours.

Number of floors

Two floors in Hoyle building, plus a mezzanine level. The Kavli Building has four levels.

Lifts and stairs

Modern lift to all levels of Hoyle building, including mezzanine. A second lift in the Kavli Building serves all levels. Stairs all have continuous handrails.

Lecture theatres

The Sackler Lecture Theatre in the Hoyle building has level access to front of theatre, through wide doors and tiered seating, with comfortable fold-down seats and small armrests. Two designated spaces for wheelchairs, and more fixed seats can be taken out if necessary.

Seminar/teaching rooms

Teaching rooms and offices in Hoyle and Kavli buildings all have level access from lift.


Three steps to main entrance, with no handrail. Ramp available, but arrange in advance. Inside there are ramps over all steps, with plenty of workspace. Staffed office hours. Upper floor accessible only by stairs, but most books are on ground floor.

Computer facilities

Several accessible computers in Hoyle building. Wireless internet available throughout.


Disabled toilet and shower on ground floor of Hoyle building. Disabled toilets also available in the Kavli Building at entrance level and in the APM Building.

Common rooms

Seating areas in Hoyle and Kavli buildings. Low moveable tables and chairs, some with armrests. Small kitchens in all buildings, and some vending machines.


  • Northumberland telescope, used for public and undergraduate teaching, has ramped access. Some areas of the sky may be difficult to observe if you have limited mobility, as the telescope is close to the ground.
  • Gardens around site are level and sloping, with wide lawns and some benches. Some stepping stone paths may be difficult for wheelchairs, but there are tarmac paths between all buildings.

Visual Impairments

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs welcome.

Computer facilities

Currently no special hardware or software for visually impaired users. Some could be acquired if necessary.

Large print, Braille and audio

Large print information on prior request. Touch readable buttons in lift.

Library and magnification equipment

Magnifying glasses in library. Light tables for observing photographic film. Photocopiers in Hoyle building for text enlargement.

Signs and wayfinding

Large white-on-blue signs off Madingley Road. Very little signposting around the Department buildings, but clear signs are put up for public open days. Site map in safety manual.


  • Large windows and good lighting generally.
  • Stairs are all marked, and have continuous handrails.
  • The site is kept deliberately dark to avoid light pollution during observations, but there are lights on garden paths.

Hearing Impairments

Induction loops

Induction loop in Sackler Lecture Theatre, Hoyle Building.


  • Hoyle and Kavli buildings are carpeted and softly furnished throughout.
  • The Sackler Lecture Theatre has soft furnishings, and 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.

Other Useful Information

Adaptations to workspaces, including chairs and keyboards, are often made — please discuss any needs with the Disability Liaison Officer.

The information on this page is the responsibility of the Institute of Astronomy. The ADRC updates information as it is received from the Institute. This page was last updated on 20th January 2012. To ensure the information contained here is current, please check with the Institute of Astronomy.