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‘Humiliated’ student considers legal action over lack of disabled access at Hull Uni

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A Hull University student who uses a wheelchair has said she considered taking legal action over the lack of disabled access at the institution.

A BBC News report described how the student, Sarah-Marie Da Silva, had been forced to sit in stairwells during lectures as she cannot negotiate the stairs to a seat.

In response, the university said it was “very sorry that this has happened” and was looking into the matter.

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The BBC report goes on to detail how Da Silva, a first-year zoology student, posted an image of herself on social media sitting in a stairwell during a lecture.

She explained: “There was no way for me to get down those stairs so I was just isolated. It’s been five months of me kind of fighting to kind of sit with my fellow students.

“I am put at the front by myself whilst everyone is allowed seats and desks. Some days I don’t get a desk. It’s humiliating really, it’s had quite a big impact on my mental health.”

She added: “I come to university and I feel tiny. I feel like I’m not worth anything.”

Da Silva had also had to use the goods lift as a passenger because the normal lift had broken down.

The University of Hull said the building used by Ms Da Silva was listed and that it could not make any structural changes to the lecture theatre.

A spokesman said: “A rigorous process is undertaken to ensure rooms allocated for teaching sessions take into account students’ additional requirements but unfortunately it is clear a mistake has happened on this occasion.

“We are very sorry that this has happened, clearly it is not acceptable. We take these matters very seriously and a colleague from our student services team is looking into what has happened now.”

Tags : accessibility
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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