To the casual eye, it’s a broad concrete path sloping up from the Flinders University Ring Road to the Health Sciences building – to students, staff and visitors with disabilities, it’s a vital contribution to their independence.
Officially opening the new disability access ramp on Friday, July 29, Flinders Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Barber said the ramp is both a real benefit and a symbol of efforts by individuals and groups across the University.
While the steeply sloping campus site is an integral part of the University’s charm and identity, Professor Barber said the terrain could also cause difficulties for staff and students with disabilities.
“With this ramp we have achieved a great thing, enabling access through a part of the University which wasn’t accessible previously,” he said.
He said that Flinders is committed to making adjustments that will improve independent access to the University’s buildings and facilities wherever necessary.
Ms Lisa O’Neill, Manager, Equal Opportunity and Diversity at Flinders, said the ramp was a very visible aspect of the University’s program to improve conditions for staff and students with disabilities.
“It also representative of the activities of the members of the Disability Committee, the Equal Opportunity Contact Officers and the Disability Advisers, all of whom are committed to assisting students with disabilities in overcoming practical and academic barriers to success,” she said.
The new ramp is 57.5 metres long and 1.3 metres wide, and rises 2.25m over its length. It incorporates a stainless steel balustrade, tactile indicators, landings and a rest area.