Robert Greggor, a guide dog owner from the Isle of Man, has been singing the praises of the University of Central Lancashire in Preston since he started his counselling and psychotherapy degree in September 2015. The University have exceeded all of Robert’s expectations and have made numerous adjustments so he and his guide dog Angel can study and live on campus with ease.
For any new student, starting at university is daunting enough but when you have a visual impairment that brings a whole new list of things to worry about. Poorly designed or maintained pavements, lack of controlled road crossings, poor service in shops or even refused entry to businesses are constant difficulties to be negotiated. This was not the case at the University of Central Lancashire. Every time Robert encountered a problem the University were quick to offer a solution that would keep Juan/Robert and Angel as free to move around campus as all the other students.
Before Robert even started his course, the University had constructed a purpose-built enclosed toilet area for Angel and this is cleaned daily. They painted a brand new zebra crossing on the road so Robert could cross the road safely to his accommodation block and even installed bollards to prevent cars blocking the pavement along his route. Everything had been thought of like braille labels on washing machines and introductions to the security staff who were on hand to help out at any time of day or night and just a phone call away.
Robert also benefits from the services of an electronic note taker during his lectures so he can concentrate fully and receive the verbatim notes afterwards. Juan is so impressed that he hopes to go on to do a master’s degree once he finishes his current degree.
Emma Allen-Taylor, Engagement officer from Guide Dogs said: “The University of Central Lancashire have been excellent. We have so many access problems and reports of poor service from across our region so it is great to hear when somewhere gets it so right. I hope that other service providers will follow suit.”
Helen Weir, Disability Advisor for the University said: “It is good that Robert has had such a positive experience at UCLan. We have all worked together to enable this to happen. He is so positive and productive and it has been great to meet Angel too.”