Disabled access 1

December 22, 2006

Christopher Baswell makes some cogent observations (Opinion, December 15) about provision for people with disabilities in UK universities. It is a pity that the article, particularly the headline, gives the impression that we are indifferent to these issues. In fact, the Bodleian Library has acted vigorously to address such challenges.

It is simply no longer correct that disabled readers must seek help outside the New Bodleian Library, where a ramp and automatic doors have now been installed. Furthermore, we are planning a major redevelopment, and provision for readers with any kind of disability will be integral to the design. There are many other ways in which we strive to meet the needs of readers with disabilities, such as providing magnifiers and hearing loops in all reading rooms and adjustable-height desks in all major libraries.

The ancient and beautiful buildings in our care will always present a challenge, but we take our responsibilities very seriously and endeavour not only to meet them, but also to provide the very best service we can to enable all our disabled readers to use and benefit from our world-class collections.

Ronald Milne
Acting director University Library Services
Oxford University

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