Reporter 464, 26 March 2001

Disabled facilities ‘the envy of the country’

Facilities and services for disabled students and staff at the University have received a major boost with the opening of a new centre by Peter White, the BBC’s disability affairs correspondent and University Chancellor Melvyn Bragg.

The £500,000 purpose-built accommodation brings together the RNIB transcription centre and the University’s disability services office. It will significantly extend the scope and quality of campus disability services.

Official opening – Lord Bragg with BBC disability affairs correspondent Peter White

Peter White recounted his first days at university, over 20 years ago, and regretted such provision was not available then. "As the only unsighted student on campus," he said "I spent much of my first term rather disorientated – only to suffer the final indignity of falling into one of the fountains!"

Enthusiasm – Law lecturer Anna Lawson with her guide dog Hamlet and Vibi Rothnie, deputy manager of the transcription centre

Law lecturer Anna Lawson said the University services were ‘the envy of the country’. She added: "We need to build on the enthusiasm generated by the opening of the centre, to ensure that the University is a place in which disabled people are able to participate fully in all aspects of its life and work."

Leeds has twice the national average of disabled students and has a long standing commitment to improving access for those with disabilities.

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