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Accessibility and Disability Support

No student should be prevented from studying at Cambridge because of barriers to equal access, and at Fitz we are committed to supporting disabled students not only to cope during their time in Cambridge, but to make the very most of the opportunities available. 

While we understand the sensitivity surrounding disclosure, the sooner you are able to contact us directly to discuss your needs, the more support and tailored information we will be able to provide. This page sets out some of the basics, and offers links to other places to find help, but we strongly encourage you to get in touch when you're ready - potentially before you come to an open day or submit an application - so we can offer the best support available. All disclosure will be treated confidentially. There is some guidance about when and why to disclose here. You can disclose to the University ADRC (Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre) to receive advice, without this information being passed to College.

The ADRC (Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre)

The Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre (ADRC) provides a confidential and accessible advice, information and guidance service for disabled students and University and College staff working with them. The ADRC’s aim is to increase access and attainment for disabled students through academic-related disability support and the application of the principles of inclusive design whilst also meeting the institution's duties to disabled students within the context of disability equality legislation. 

The University of Cambridge is an inclusive university with more than 5000 disabled students currently studying across all 31 Colleges and every School. The ADRC offers a confidential and accessible service for all disabled students supporting access to teaching and learning during your time at Cambridge. They are a student-centred service, committed to supporting disabled students to achieve to your academic potential.

Just as you might research your subject before applying on the Faculty or Departmental page, we strongly recomend that you take a look at the range of information and support available via the ADRC. 

Support at Fitz

Location and transport

Fitzwilliam is a 15-minute walk from the city centre (down Castle Hill), is conveniently located for the West Cambridge Site  and is just five minutes from the Mathematics Faculty.  It is 30 minutes to the New Museums Site and Downing Site, and 15-20 minutes to Sidgwick Site and University Library via Grange Road. The University-subsidised bus service (the 'Universal Bus') stops on Madingley Road (400 meters from College). Fitzwilliam's Sports Ground is at Oxford Road and is just five minutes walk from College.

Huntingdon Road and Castle Hill are busy with traffic. Pavements are accessible for wheelchairs but care should be taken when crossing the roads - make use of the pedestrian crossings.

There is plenty of parking at the front (Storey's Way) and back (Huntingdon Road) entrances. There are five designated disabled bays for visitors. Disabled students must obtain a permit from the Porters. Disabled conference guests can also park here - please contact your event organiser to reserve a space.


AccessAble has created over 200 detailed Access Guides for Cambridge Colleges and University buildings. They are detailed, factual and include photographs  and text to help you to work out if somewhere is going to be accessible to you. The Fitzwilliam Accessable Guide is available by clicking the following link: 

Accommodation and catering

Fitzwilliam has four en suite rooms for wheelchair users. We also have some en suite rooms, and some rooms with lift access, but not many that are suitable for wheelchair users. Rooms can be adapted according to individual needs, but the College will require a reasonable amount of notice before your arrival.

Live-in assistants are a possibility at Fitz, and we have had students who have made use of this. Assistants have also been accommodated for conference guests. Live-in support dogs can also be accommodated. Please discuss your needs in plenty of time before your arrival.

Early induction and arrival is possible.Three different accommodation contract lengths are available, and staying in College over vacation periods should not be a problem so long as you have the correct contract. Please discuss this with our Accommodation Officer.

The Buttery serves lunch and dinner every day, as well as regular formal halls. Plates are normally handed across a counter, but if there is difficulty holding plates, then serving staff can modify their technique and support your needs. Breakfast is available in the Coffee Shop. Kitchen facilities depend on accommodation but are generally quite small. Two kitchens have the ability to be adapted for wheelchair users. Students can request to keep a small fridge/freezer in their room for medical or religious reasons.

The Catering Department can cater for all specific dietary requirements (with notice) and staff are always available to assist guests where required. Please discuss your dietary needs with the nurse at the start of term, or directly with the Catering Manager. The cafeteria and Coffee Shop can give information on ingredients.

Visual impairments

Assistance dogs are welcome. Please discuss your needs in plenty of time before your arrival.

Special hardware and software for visually-impaired users will be acquired as necessary. Please contact the IT department on the following email to discuss your needs: 

Large print letters and information can be provided on request, and the College can work with the ADRC and your academic department to ensure teaching material is accessible. 

The Library is well-lit with additional fixed desk lamps and also extra portable lamps. Photocopiers can enlarge and other special facilities for text enlargement could be provided as required (with notice). Please contact the Librarian on the following email to discuss: 

There is good directional signposting and lighting around College. Most steps and stairs have markings.

Hearing impairments

We have an infra-red hearing enhancement system in the auditorium, which operates with either headsets or individual loops. Induction loops can be hired in if needed for a specific event.

We have two vibrating pillows and visual alarms in adapted rooms.

It is generally quiet around College. An additional quiet revision room available during exam period.

Specific Learning Difficulties and mental health issues

Arrangements for students with Specific Learning Difficulties are on an individual basis, in conjunction with the ADRC. Please discuss your needs with your Tutor. If you would like to discuss support before you make an application to Cambridge, you can do this in confidence by contacting

This helpful guide explains Diagnostic Assessment.

Accessibility and Disability Support Funding

University Funding

There are a number of funds available to support disabled students studying in the UK.  Information is available on the Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre (ADRC) website.

College funding, from the Fitzwilliam College Student Opportunities Fund, is provided for the following:

  • 50% of the cost of diagnostic testing for Specific Learning Difficulties (such as dyslexia) on receipt of the invoice (up to 100% where there is evidence of particular financial need - speak to your Tutor in the first instance). Up to a maximum of £500.
  • Rent Rebates are available if you have specific room requirements as detailed to us by the University’s Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre (ADRC).  The level of the rebate will be calibrated to reflect the difference in rent levels between rooms of different sizes and with different facilities, allowing you maximum flexibility (alongside all other students) in choosing between the various rooms available. If the ADRC states that you require an en suite room then we can award a maximum fixed rebate of £26 per week.  If the ADRC states that you need a large room (quiet location, large amount of light etc), then we can award a maximum fixed rebate of £17 per week. If your requirements are for a large en-suite room (wheelchair accessible for example) then the maximum rebate will be £43.00 per week. For Freshers we can rebate down to £140.50 per week, reflecting the specific rooms assigned to this group.  These rebates will be credited to College Accounts each term. 
  • The College can purchase (or buy back) small fridges for students requiring such a facility in their room in order to store medicine or food due to long term health conditions, as detailed by the University’s Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre (ADRC) or in a letter from a Doctor (GP). The fridge will belong to the College and must be emptied at the end of each academic year. Students must first apply for permission to have a fridge in their room and provide the relevant recommendation from the ADRC or a Doctor (GP).
  • Students with disabilities may also apply direct to the Student Opportunities fund for help with any additional costs of travel required for study (additional taxi requirements or bus passes for example).

Representation at Fitz

If you would like to know more about accessibility and disability support you might want to reach out to one of our JCR or MCR representatives to hear more about what life is like at Fitz and Cambridge more generally before you apply.You can contact the Admissions team on and they will connect you with the best person for you - you don't need to disclose any details to make this request, and, beyond your name and email, you do not need to share any personal information with the student or staff member, unless you want to.