Welcome to the blog of the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at the University of Northampton. This will keep you up to date with both student and staff activities.

The Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences includes staff with interests in biological sciences, conservation, ecology, environmental sciences, environmental statistics, geography and waste management. We offer a range of degree programmes and have a number of postgraduate research students. For more information about studying with us please visit http://www.northampton.ac.uk/.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Wheelchair accessibility audit carried out by first year Geography students

First year Human Geography students have been carrying out fieldwork to evaluate the accessibility of Avenue Campus for wheelchair users. Working in groups of 4 or 5, students completed two activities (wearing the famous Geography fieldwork hi-viz jackets, of course!). Before conducting the exercise, students had the opportunity to interview members of the University's Wheelchair Basketball team, to find out more about the experiences of wheelchair users.

Jack and Laurence auditing wheelchair accessibility at Avenue Campus

  • Each group has taken a 30-minute walk with a wheelchair around an everyday route on campus. Everyone has had an opportunity to push, and be pushed in, the wheelchair. During the walk, students made fieldnotes reflecting upon how familiar everyday spaces can look and feel very different from the perspective of a wheelchair user.
  •  All students gained experience of using field equipment to measure footpath and corridor widths, kerb heights, and slope gradients. These measurements were compared to Department for Transport Guidance about accessible pedestrian environments.
Each group will prepare an annotated map and summary of their key findings. This exercise is designed to help students engage with recent academic research about geographies of disabilities. The project also provides a wealth of data which is really valued by the University of Northampton, as we seek to make the campus an accessible and inclusive place for all.

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