Accessibility is an important issue in both the mental and the physical wellbeing of the students at Nottingham Trent.
George Rudkin, 28, is a newly graduated Psychology Msc student at Nottingham Trent University from Arnold, Nottingham.
They have been a student at the university since 2018 and have had continuous opinions on the attitude towards accessibility by NTU.
“I did my masters in psychological research. It’s kind of like doing very specialised research in disability and inclusion, like wider structural injustice and policy.”: said George.
On the November 8, 2023, George made it aware to the university that there was a problem with the accessibility entrance features of the Newton building.
However, the issue with the accessible door was just a part of the problem, as George has faced many other challenges throughout their time at NTU.
“I didn’t know I was autistic until maybe final year, so I wasn’t allowed to have it as like a formal thing on my access statement.
“It was beginning of my undergraduate when I had issues, I had been quite unwell and I needed various things.”: said George.
Alongside having a physical disability and falling sick, George was struggling mentality after seeking diagnosis for autism, which can take a significant amount of time.
“I think a lot of people think they know what disability is and think they know disabled people, but [they] have no clue.” George Rudkin, Msc Pyschology student at NTU
George received support through the university’s DSA, the Disabled Student Allowance, run by the government under student finances applications.
Successful applicants of the DSA receive support to assist with their studies, including a computer, specialist note-takers, travel aid.
The term disability is an extremely wide umbrella and so there may be things that a disabled student may need that hasn’t been offered or considered.
George said: “It felt like they were telling me what I needed. The only thing that was really useful was the computer chair.
“Something that would have been useful would have been a PA. A personal assistant to help me manage like daily living and admin and communication.
“That would have been the most useful to me.”
George had considered seeking support outside of university to see if there was anywhere locally that could help.
This can cause more stress and labour in having to seek out this support externally.
They said: “I was aware of options I could have taken, but there’s so much labour in having to do that.
“There’s communication, there’s emailing people and all of that added labour and non-disabled people don’t have to do these things.”
University can often be a stressful or perhaps distressing time for many students.
For George, this was made even trickier with having been diagnosed with autism.
If you feel as though you need advice on accessibility and support whilst at Nottingham Trent University, you can find more information here.