University education has become extremely expensive. Apart from the sky-high tuition fees, students also have to worry about the costs of living. You will need to rent a room and pay for transportation and daily upkeep and maintenance. Needless to say, this proves to be a considerable fiscal burden for most students. Most students who join universities in different cities or go abroad to study look for affordable accommodation. However, finding an affordable place to live is much easier said than done.
Recent research conducted by a private company called Aspen Woolf showed that in certain parts of the globe, the accommodation provided to most university students lacked basic facilities, and was in fact, worse than the jails in some Nordic countries. The situation is much worse for disabled students. For instance, the study showed that many places that offered affordable accommodation for university students often lacked essential facilities for disabled students, such as ramps alongside the stairs.
Even though standards have improved significantly in the past couple of decades, there is still a long way to go before university students can afford to rent a place that offers a comfortable living atmosphere. Disabled students often face more difficulties, as they need places which offer accessibility and ease of movement. Here’s what you need to know about the rising need for accessible accommodation for university students.
The Disability Discrimination Act was passed in 2005. Five years later, the Equality Act was passed by the Government. Both these Acts of Parliament were designed to mandate that disabled people be treated equally and accommodated in universities and workplaces. However, several studies have shown that the increased focus by the government hasn’t really had the desired impact. Many thought that once these acts were passed, private organisations and local councils would have to take notice in order to offer better accessibility to disabled people. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case just yet.
A recent study showed that only 20% of the university dorm buildings offered adequate toilet facilities for disabled people who needed hoists in order to use the lavatory. Furthermore, the study also stated that almost 30% of the disabled people that were surveyed found it difficult to gain access to student union buildings. Needless to say, this made it virtually impossible for these people to apply for higher positions.
Disabled people account for approximately 18% of the population of England. More than 9.4 million disabled people reside in the country. Equal representation is extremely important in the country. Universities are being asked to improve their facilities and renovate their buildings in order to make them more accessible for disabled students. The government has also hired several research organisations in order to conduct surveys among disabled students so that their problems can be highlighted and brought out into the open. Ending discrimination completely may take a long while, but at least the right steps are being taken.