Why accessibility matters

 Graphic of a megaphoneWhat is accessibility? Why does it matter? Here we'll explore why accessibility is important to everyone. 


What is accessibility? 

We want our campuses to be welcoming, safe and comfortable environments for students, staff and visitors. Accessibility is key to that goal, and refers to the design of products, services, equipment and environments so as to ensure they are inclusive of disabled people. 

In Higher Education, this means removing existing barriers, and 'designing-out' potential barriers, that might prevent students, staff and visitors having fair and equal access to, for example, learning resources, buildings, and equipment. 

At University of Birmingham, we are working hard with a programme of development to ensure that UoB is as accessible as possible. 

Explore what we're doing

Who does accessibility benefit? 

Accessibility benefits everyone! Inclusive design is good design. It provides everyone with more options and can make life easier in navigating and interacting with the world.

Often we can all benefit from inclusive practice. For example, providing information like an agenda for a meeting in advance can be an essential adjustment for some disabled people, but by doing this as standard for all, it can help everybody feel more prepared. 

Why be accessible? 

Firstly, it is the right thing to do. In the UK at least 1 in 5 people have a long term illness or disability, and most of us will become either temporarily or permanently disabled at some point in our lives. We are committed to ensuring everyone has fair and equal access to University of Birmingham. 

Furthermore, it's the law. Under the Equality Act 2010 it is unlawful to discriminate against those with protected characteristics, including disabled people. 

So, what are we doing?

The university is working on improving access in a variety of ways, including accessibility regarding:

  • Physical accessibility of campus.
  • Teaching facilities and resources.
  • Digital accessibility.
  • Accessibility for non-physical disabilities, e.g., for neurodivergent individuals.

You can find information related to accessibility development within these pages.

As an example, here to give you an overview of what we are working on in Estates is Hilary Tansley, Estates Accessibility Officer:

If you want to contribute to improving accessibility as a UoB student, join The Disabled Students Contribution Group

Our progress, so far

In this video, Hilary Tansley, Estates Accessibility Officer, explores University of Birmingham's progress towards accessibility, from the University's foundation, to present day, whilst reflecting on our challenges, and future opportunities. 

Accessibility to Inclusion: Reflections on University of Birmingham's accessibility journey.



Did you find what you were looking for?

If you have any comments, queries, or feedback on this page, don't hesitate to email us at studentequality@contacts.bham.ac.uk


Professional Services