Equipment for the Disability Resource Centre
The Disability Resource Centre houses and maintains a collection of ergonomic and specialist equipment for students to borrow.
Working much like a lending library, students can borrow items from what is known as the Loan Pool for a designated period of time. The Centre also loans equipment which is highly specialised and would be impractical for an individual to purchase.
Using equipment from the DRC Loan Pool, rather than having to wait weeks or months for funding, can be of immeasurable assistance to students who are struggling with their course work. This service is particularly supportive for students who are diagnosed during their studies. Students who are contending with the academic demands of Cambridge whilst coming to terms with a diagnosis have an immediate need for help, which the Loan Pool can provide.
Students benefitting from the Loan Pool have a wide range of disabilities, including:
- specific learning difficulties
- physical impairments
- injuries including broken limbs
- Upper Limb Disorder (formerly RSI)
- sensory impairments
The majority of the disabled students using the Loan Pool borrow an item/items as an interim measure; others benefit from being able to try out a variety of items before purchasing the best one. Long term loans can also be sought, often by those requiring highly specialised equipment that is very expensive and impractical to buy, such as a mobility scooter.
Departmental staff can also approach the DRC to borrow items from the Loan Pool for lectures, seminars and student events, such as a portable hearing loop, to be used for a one-off or outdoor event, thus making the event accessible to all hearing impaired students, or a wheelchair ramp to make a venue accessible.
Our biggest hurdles are being able to meet the demand for the most popular items, thus preventing students from waiting weeks or months for an item they need right away, purchasing new equipment, and maintaining the items we have.