Since Newman University was a short distance from the house I decided, just out of curiosity to view the accommodation there.
I was nervous and anxious, however I found comfort in the knowledge that home was up the road. The accommodation was on the campus, only feet away from the university.
This will help out if I had a long day at university as I wouldn’t have to travel far to get back or if I was running late there would be no need to panic to much in getting in on time.
On the downside I wouldn’t be able to use excuses about my wheelchair running out of battery as a reason not to go into university. Damn.
To get from university to the accommodation, I would have to walk out of around the university, and then catch a number of lifts to be able to access the accommodation.
I would struggle to navigate in the lifts as they are small and I would struggle to press buttons on the left hand panel to move up and down in the lift to get from one place to the other.
As well as this, some of the lifts involved me having to hold the button down while in the lift, which I would struggle to do. This will decrease my independence, as I would have to have someone with me when I come and go from the accommodation to the university and back again, which is annoying and frustrating.
The accessibility in the accommodation is quite good, the corridors weren’t overly wide but still accessible, and it would just mean I would have to allow myself more time.
Looking at the kitchen and bedroom door I noticed that it may be difficult to open them, they had to be unlocked with a key, which I would struggle to do.
Speaking to those in charge of the halls about the difficulty, they agreed to try and make the doors automatic for me to use in September.
The managers were quite helpful and friendly they told me they would make any further the adaptions I needed.
They told me that their office is manned 24/7 and I could call upon them anytime I have a problem and they will come and help solve it.
One of the main problems I had when I was living in halls of residence at Southampton Solent was the amount of noise, preventing me from sleeping at night, having a knock on effect on classes.
This was a major worry of mine, and I knew things had to change if I wanted to complete the three years of my degree. All bedroom doors at Newman University’s accommodation were conveniently on a magnet so the doors would close slowly, clicking shut, decreasing the extent of the noise.
To try and prevent me hearing some of the hall noise I decided to reposition my bed, placing it against the back wall instead of the side wall closest to the hallway.
Viewing my room in the accommodation I requested certain adaptions to be made such as an adjustable computer desk in the bedroom.
The desk would help me in my studies and I would be able to drive underneath the desk easily to be able to access and use my computer more easily to do my work.
I also requested a X-Y tracking hoist in both the bedroom and bathroom, which would assist me getting in and out of bed. It would also assist me with my personal care needs. I also questioned whether it was possible whether I could get a hospital style bed, a bed that I would be able to adjust in order to decrease any pressure on my muscles, to avoid any unnecessary pain and discomfort which would again increase my quality of sleep.
Unlike my room Southampton, my room at Newman university was relatively small which suited me. I could make the room personal, more comfortable to live in.
The room had a bed, chest of drawers, wardrobe, shelves and computer desk all of which I could use easily. A perk of having an adapted room is the en suite bathroom, equipped with a toilet, shower and sink -everything with flat access.
A downside was where my room was, next to where the main door was This meant that every student would go through the main door to get to their own rooms, increasing the general noise level.
Accepting there would be a relative amount of noise, I was hopeful that my earplugs and sleeping tablets would make my sleep somewhat better.
The cleanliness of the accommodation was good, no more than you can expect from a group of students living away from home.
The kitchen space was very cramped, I struggled to move around, I was very surprised to find out six students would be using it.
The counters and the table in the kitchen were quite low, which was difficult for me to use. I would strain my back in leaning forward to use the table.
As well as this the cupboards were either to high or to low, this would make my things hard to access, which would be frustrating.
The fridge was placed underneath the counter where the microwave was, a usual place to put a fridge.
This would make the fridge and microwave very difficult for me use, decreasing my independence.
To avoid this I requested for nothing to be under the counters so I would be able to operate the equipment such as the microwave and oven.
Realising this would be difficult for me; the accommodation managers told me they would rearrange things so I could access it better.
Similar to Southampton, the laundry room works by swiping a card through the machine which had been topped up with money through an online website.
The laundry room was very small and cramped; I would definitely require help to do my laundry.
The location of the university was quite isolated; there were good transport links to and from the city centre.
Until now I had regularly used the same taxi company, which I would continue using, when I want to go out.
There are various shopping locations, Merry Hill Shopping Centre and Birmingham Bulling, two big shopping centres.
Then there were places to visit at night such as Broad Street and The Mailbox. Since the university was near to where I lived, I knew where to get my food shopping from as well as other necessities.
Conveniently there was a very large ASDA being built a few miles away from the university, opposite a Sainsbury’s, which is almost as big.
There were also a number of local fast food shops, which is always good for us students to use.
In all I decided to consider living in Newman University accommodation, as long as the necessary changes were made.