Chapter 12: Living on campus

12.1 Campus orienteering

  • Students take different courses in each semester. Course selection and registration are often carried out near the beginning of each semester. Some course venues might be unfamiliar to some students.
  • There may be insufficient time for students to familiarize themselves with some unfamiliar and especially new buildings and facilities.
  • Campus facilities orienteering assisted by Accessibility Coordinator and/or trained student helpers can be organized after knowing the preliminary timetable but before the beginning of the semester.
  • It helps some students with disabilities familiarize themselves with the environment, figure out the accessible routes and evacuation plan.
  • It also helps students with disabilities identify any required accommodations as early as possible.

12.2 Student hostel

12.2.1. Basic principles

  • Some of the students with disabilities need a hostel because of:
    • the disability needs, such as some students with physical disabilities might need a place where they can take a break whenever they need;
    • transportation issue due to long distance between their home and the university; and/or
    • the storage of their assistive devices; for example, Braille books might take up much more space than print textbooks of the same amount of the content.
  • Priority can be given to students with disabilities by considering both the students’ needs and the availability of the hostel.
    • Some students with disabilities might need to share the room with their personal assistants.
    • Some of them might prefer to share the room with other student peers and might not necessarily need accessible rooms.
    • Respect students’ needs and choices.

12.2.2. Essential accessibility practices

  • Accessible rooms should be ready. Ensure the accessibility of hotel environment other than the student rooms, such as hall, activity rooms, pantry, washrooms, and laundry facilities.
  • Ensure accessible practices for emergency evacuation, such as:
    • Tactile guide path and floor map for emergency evacuation should be installed.
    • Smoke detectors with flashing lights, vibrating pad under the pillow in hostels, and Deaf Alerter should be installed to alert deaf of hard of hearing users in case of danger and emergency evacuation.
    • Evacuation chair for people with mobility disabilities should be prepared.
  • Be friendly to guide dogs and their users.

12.2.3. The warden and hostel staff

  • Upon consent, the warden and hostel staff should be informed of the accessibility needs of the students with disabilities, particularly the emergency evacuation plan.

12.2.4. The students with disabilities

  • Students should familiarize themselves with the emergency evacuation route in the hostel.

12.3 Conveniences

12.3.1. Basic principles

  • Ensure accessible living on campus to promote autonomy and equal participation in living on campus.
  • Some of the services may be provided and maintained by non-university operators outside such as canteens and banks. The accessibility of their services and facilities may not be directly controlled by the University. However, the University should do the best to proactively discuss and work with them to ensure accessible services and facilities.
  • Assistance by the staff and the accessibility of the physical environment and services are equally important.
    • Do not feel being offended if students with disabilities reject assistance.
    • Do not force students to be accompanied by helpers all the time. Avoid overly uninvited assistance.
    • Mutual respect is important.
    • Refer to Chapter 7 Effective and inclusive communication.
  • Some students with disabilities may need to recruit auxiliary assistants to assist the living on campus, such as going to the canteens and opening doors. The auxiliary assistants might be paid or non-paid for a prior-agreed schedule.
  • Below is a list of essential practices.

12.3.2. Canteens

  • Automatic door
  • Tactile guide path
  • Be friendly to guide dogs and their users
  • Accessible Menu – accessible height of the Menu display boards or monitors; clear font and font size; availability of a Braille version; self-service counter with electronic Menu and read-aloud function
  • Assistance by the canteen staff, e.g. reading aloud the menu, simple sign language, getting the tableware
  • Multiple types of flexible setting of tables and chairs.
  • Removable chairs for clearing space for wheelchair users
  • Accessible height and clear leg space of service counters including self-service counters
  • Accessible toilets

12.3.3. Clinics and counselling service centers

  • Multiple methods of appointment booking, e.g. online system, phone-call, or direct booking at the counter
  • Medical professionals and counsellors are aware of disability perspectives
  • Automatic doors
  • Tactile guide path
  • Be friendly to guide dogs and their users
  • Accessible height and clear leg space of service counters
  • Accessible consultation rooms
  • Accessible toilets

12.3.4. Supermarket and bookstore

  • Accessible location, entrance, service counter, display shelves
  • Automatic doors
  • Be friendly to guide dogs and their users
  • Aisles that are clear and wide enough for wheelchair users to go through and to minimize unexpected obstruction for people with visual impairment
  • Free delivery service for some students with disabilities (as part of the personalized accommodation plan approved by the University) within the campus area.

12.3.5. Banks and ATM services

12.3.6. Post office / “Mail room” on campus

It offers postal and parcel service to the University units and members. University staff and students can drop off personal mail in the posting box.

  • Accessible office location, entrance, service counter
  • Accessible location of the posting box. Appropriate height for wheelchair users to reach the posting box.

12.3.7. Hair salon

  • Accessible location, entrance, service counter
  • Automatic doors
  • Be friendly to guide dogs and their users
  • Accessible hair dressing salon facilities

12.3.8. Souvenir counter

  • Provide online product information for easier access.
  • Accessible location, entrance, service counter, display windows
  • Automatic doors
  • Be friendly to guide dogs and their users.
  • Provide multiple methods of enquiry contact, e.g. email, phone-call, or direct enquiry at counter.