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Disability access

Contact Details

Downing Site,
Downing Street,
Cambridge CB2 3EA

Tel: 01223 333 900
01223 333 953

Access Issues

Contact: Mrs Catherine Butler

Location, Services and Transport

Downing Site. See separate entry for Downing Site.

General Information

Most teaching and research takes place in the main building. Security system throughout. Mostly this is proximity card, with some keypads, and some buttons to exit through doors.

Smoking: No smoking anywhere in the building.

Medical facilities: First aiders in the building.

Emergency procedures: Evacuation chairs fitted, and all first aiders and the Disability Liaison Officer are trained in their use.

Physical Access

Entrances: Main entrance ramped, with handrails. Bell for assistance at door. Swipecard access to back entrances, all with three or four steps. Corridor doors on the ground floor will open automatically for a programmed card.

Number of floors: Four floors in total, including basement.

Lifts and stairs: Lift to all floors except mezzanine. Note: lift is smaller than standard. Wheelchair platform lift in Library down to Tom ap Rees Small Lecture Theatre.

Lecture theatres: Large lecture theatre has ramped access from main foyer. Tiered bench seating, with room for one wheelchair. No handrails on steps. Small theatre has a few steps up or down from either entrance, but is level inside. Push button automatic door off Reception.

Seminar/teaching rooms: Teaching laboratory on ground floor. Most other laboratories accessible.  Seminar Room/Supervision rooms on third floor with level access from lift.

Library: Ramped access from foyer. Rather small and cramped inside, with high shelves. Our Librarian usually works mornings except for Wednesday. If help is required at other times she can be found in Genetics library, ask at Reception.

Computer facilities: Computers in library, for use by part 2 students only. Accessible, but rather cramped.

Toilets: Basic disabled toilet on ground floor.

Common rooms: Tea room on first floor, with level access from lift. Spacious inside, with moveable furniture.

Visual Impairments

Assistance dogs: Assistance dogs welcome.

Computer facilities: Currently no special hardware or software for visually impaired users.

Large print, Braille and audio: Large print information on prior request.

Library and magnification equipment: Photocopier available.

Signs and wayfinding

Little signposting, but the Department is not complicated.

Other: Good lighting generally around the Department.

Hearing Impairments

Induction loops: Induction loop in Reception only.

Other: Large lecture theatre is large and echoey, with hard wood surfaces. Small lecture theatre is carpeted and quiet. Large Lecture theatre has hard wooden bench seating which can cause problems for bad backs.  A padded chair is available as long as there is no wheelchair space needed.

Specific Learning Difficulties and Mental Health Issues

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

The information on this page is the responsibility of the Department of Plant Sciences. The DRC updates information as it is received from the Department. To ensure the information contained here is current, please check with the Department of Plant Sciences.

The University has moved into its "red" phase in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. All University staff, except those needed for business-critical activity, are now working remotely. Please contact us by email until further notice.