St John's College Oxford

Accessibility at St John’s College

At St John’s College, we endeavour to provide a safe, dignified and welcoming environment for everyone, with or without disabilities.

Whilst the nature of our historic buildings makes access limited in some areas, St John’s has introduced a range of structural and procedural measures to improve access.  The following section provides accessibility information for members and visitors about the College’s main site in St Giles.  Details of many of the locations described in this section can be viewed on the College map. Information from this page is available as an Accessibility Report PDF or Large Print Accessibility Report PDF.

A-Z of detailed access information

Archive

The Archive Reading Room is open to College members and the public by appointment with the Archivist.  It is located in the basement of Kendrew Quad and can be accessed by either of the Kendrew Quad lifts.

Auditorium

The Auditorium is located in the Garden Quad and it provides wheelchair access to both the stage and the stalls within the theatre. Seating can be removed to provide a range of different seating layouts to enable wheelchairs to be positioned in different parts of the theatre.  There are also ramps, a platform lift, a hearing loop and an accessible toilet. 

Bar

The Bar is located on the ground floor of the Thomas White Building and is used by College members only. There is step-free access into the bar from the Thomas White Quad but the nearest toilets are in the Thomas White Building itself, via a step.  The nearest accessible toilets are near the Larkin Room in the Thomas White Building.

Bedrooms

There are five accessible bedrooms on the main College site for student use.  One of these rooms is located in the Beehive building, North Quad (staircase N11) where there is a ground-floor accessible room together with an adjacent carer’s room. The room is fitted with a hoist, adjustable furniture and includes a small accessible kitchen and en-suite bathroom.  The entrance door to N11 is automated and has ramped access to the accessible room. 

There are two accessible bedrooms in Kendrew Quad on Levels 1 and 2 which have en-suite bathrooms and lift access.

A further two accessible bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms are located on the ground-floor in 28 Museum Road.  The entrance doors to these rooms are automated. The building has a kitchen which is adapted to the needs of blind and partially-sighted students and is accessible via automated doors.

There is also a self-contained one-bedroom adapted ground-floor flat located off the main College site in St John Street.  There is an external shared courtyard and a small patch of grass which is suitable for an assistance dog.

Chapel

The Chapel is located between the Front and North Quads and is accessed by a set of wooden doors.  It is used by College members and is open to the general public.

The entrance is step-free and wheelchair-accessible.  There is a stepped access to the Baylie Chapel and the altar.  A temporary ramp is available to aid access.  The chapel has tiered choir stalls.  Wheelchair users will be assisted in finding a suitable location to join in the Services. The flooring is made up of historic tiles and is technically level although due to the uneven nature and the heavy doors some users might need assistance if visiting alone.

Dining

The Dining Hall is located between the Front and North Quads and has step-free access. It is used by College members only. The Buttery is adjacent to the Dining Hall and has level access.  The kitchen also has level access but some users may need assistance with collecting their meals from the self-service counter and obtaining items from the fridges.

Wheelchair users can gain access to the Hall via a set of two-way manual doors which are opened by staff before all meal times.  Once inside there are fixed tables and seats which can be moved away as necessary and assistance with accessing meals is on hand if required.  High Table is on a platform and a temporary ramp can be used when appropriate.

There is additional dining in the Kendrew Quad Café which has level access and entry is via automated doors operated with push pads.

Doors

There is a variety of door types on site.  The older manual doors are heavy and so some users may need assistance.  The entrances to the Bursary Building and Kendrew Quad Café have automated doors operated by push pads. There are also automated internal corridor doors in Kendrew Quad. The accessible bedrooms at 28 Museum Road are installed with automated doors operated by key fobs while a remote control is used to gain access to the accessible bedroom in the Beehive Building.  The self-contained adapted ground-floor flat in St John Street has an automated door operated by a remote control.  The remote control is also used to open the courtyard gate to the flat.

Entrances

The main entrance to St John’s College is located on St Giles and access is via the Porters’ Lodge.  As the entrance is not currently suitable for wheelchair users, a bell push is available to summon assistance from the Lodge.

There is a separate level access entrance to the Exhibition and Arts Rooms area in the Old Barn on St Giles which is open to the general public.

College members have access into the College site via non-public entrances using key fobs.

Gardens

The college has a series of landscaped gardens and lawns which are generally accessible.  However, some users might need assistance using the compacted gravel paths.  Step-free access is available to the Great Lawn from Canterbury Quad and the Groves via the ramped entrance gate near the Middle Common Room.

The gardens are currently not open to visitors due to construction work on the new Study Centre.

Gyms

St John’s has two gyms on its main site which are for the use of College members only.

The gym next to 28 Museum Road holds a variety of weight-lifting equipment and cardiovascular machines.  The building is open plan and single story with step-free access.  There is one combined accessible toilet.

The other gym is in the basement of Kendrew Quad and is accessed by a lift.  As the entrance doors are not automated, assistance may be required.

Hearing Support System

There are hearing support systems (induction loops) in the Auditorium, Chapel, Dolphin Quad Lecture Room, Hall, Kendrew Quad Café, Lodge and Teaching Rooms, together with the Library and Study Centre.

There is also a self-contained battery-powered portable unit which is available from the Porters’ Lodge.

Junior Common Room

The Junior Common Room (JCR) is located on the ground floor and basement of the Thomas White Building.  It is currently inaccessible to undergraduate students who cannot manage stairs.

Kitchens

There are kitchens in different areas on the main College site for student use but access and facilities vary depending on the buildings in which they are located.

There is a kitchen adapted for the needs of blind and partially-sighted students and wheelchair users in 28 Museum Road which is accessible via automated doors.

Laundry

There are washing machines and dryers available for student use at several locations on the College site in Garden Quad, Kendrew Quad basement, Middleton Hall basement, North Quad basement (staircase 3) and in Thomas White Building (staircase 3).  With the exception of the laundry room in the Kendrew Quad, the other laundry rooms on the main site are not accessible to those who need level access. 

Library

The Library is located in the Canterbury Quad and is not currently accessible to College members with physical impairments due to the historic nature of the building.  Library staff will assist when necessary and will ensure delivery of library material to those who cannot physically visit the Library.

A new Study Centre is currently under construction. It is due to open in 2019 and will provide accessible library facilities.

Lifts

Lift access is available on the main College site in the Auditorium, the Bursary Building, Kendrew Quad, the Middle Common Room, the Rural Economy Building and the Senior Common Room.

Middle Common Room

The Middle Common Room (MCR) is located between the Garden Quad and Thomas White Building and is used by graduate students. 

The main entrance to the Middle Common Room is automated and a platform lift provides access to the Games, Television Rooms and accessible toilet with baby changing facility on the first floor.  The first floor is also served by a single staircase with studs provided on the handrail underside for the use of partially-sighted students.

There is meeting space, computer and photocopying facilities on the second floor which are not accessible to wheelchair users.

Music Rooms

There is a ground-floor and level access music room adjacent to the Rural Economy Building in the Garden Quad for the use of College members.  The two practice rooms are on the first floor via a set of external steps.  The Kendrew Quad music room is located in the basement of Kendrew Quad and is accessed via a lift to the north of the building.

Old Barn

There is a separate level access entrance to the Exhibition and Arts Rooms area in the Old Barn on St Giles which is open to the general public.

Parking

The College is unable to provide parking for visitors but can arrange disabled parking on its main site with advance notice. 

Porters’ Lodge (Main Entrance and Reception)

The Porters’ Lodge is located within part of the ground-floor of the Front Quad in St Giles where it serves as the main entrance and reception area of the College.  The Porters’ Lodge is open for 365 days of the year and is staffed for 24 hours a day.  The Porters’ Lodge can either be contacted by telephone on (01865) 277300 or by email at lodge.management@sjc.ox.ac.uk  As the entrance to the Porters’ Lodge is not currently suitable for wheelchair users, a bell push is available to summon assistance.  The Lodge is equipped with a hearing loop system.  A wheelchair is available for loan. 

Senior Common Room

The Senior Common Room (SCR) is located in North Quad and is used by College members.  The main entrance to the Senior Common Room is via external stone steps and access around the building is via several internal stairways.  Alternatively, there is level going access to the Senior Common Room via the entrance adjacent to the Chapel.  A lift has been installed at the north end of the Senior Common Room Building to allow access to the dining-room.  There is a second lift installed on the south side of the building to allow access to the guest rooms on the top floor.

Squash Court

The squash court is in the basement of the Garden Quad building but its entrance is opposite the Middle Common Room and is only accessible to College members who can manage the spiral staircases.

Teaching Rooms

St John’s College has several teaching rooms of different sizes which are available to College members.

Accessible Teaching Rooms:
Room G04, Kendrew Quad
Room G05, Kendrew Quad
Room 103, Kendrew Quad
Room 104, Kendrew Quad
Room 203, Kendrew Quad
North Lecture Room, North Quad (ramps available to aid access)
Room 1, Rural Economy Building
Room 2, Rural Economy Building
Larkin Room, Thomas White Quad
Prestwich Room, Thomas White Quad

Inaccessible Teaching Rooms:
New Seminar Room, Canterbury Quad
Lecture Theatre, Dolphin Quad
Seminar Room H, 14 St Giles
Seminar Room C, 15 St Giles

For further information about our teaching rooms, please see our Teaching Rooms Guide.

Toilets

There are suitably adapted disabled toilet facilities located across the main site in the Garden Quad Auditorium, near the Larkin Room in the Thomas White Building, the Kendrew Quad Café, the Rural Economy Building, the Senior Common Room, the Middle Common Room and the Bursary Building in North Quad.

The easiest to access upon arrival is located in the Dolphin Quad, as you pass the Lodge on your right-hand side into the Front Quad. A baby changing unit is also available at this location.

There are also fully accessible private toilets located in the en-suites in the accessible rooms located in the Beehive Building, in the Kendrew Quad and at 28 Museum Road.

 

Summary of Accessibility for Main Site Buildings

Main Site Buildings

Canterbury Quad for
Library: step-access
New Seminar Room: step-access
Student accommodation: inaccessible to wheelchair users due to internal stairs and external steps

Dolphin Quad for
Dark Room: no disabled access to basement of staircase 2
Lecture Theatre: accessible via staircase 2 to the first-floor
Student accommodation: inaccessible to wheelchair users due to internal stairs and external steps

Front Quad for
Chapel: step-free access
Dining Hall: step-free access
President’s Lodgings: low step to entrance where a temporary ramp can be provided to aid access
Porters’ Lodge: step to the main gate and reception area
Student accommodation: inaccessible to wheelchair users due to internal stairs and external steps

Garden Quad for
Auditorium: step-free access and platform lift
Rural Economy Building: accessible via external and internal steps/platform lift
Student accommodation: inaccessible to wheelchair users due to internal stairs and external steps

Kendrew Quad for
Café: level access with entry via automated doors operated with push pads
Events Room: lift access
Gym: lift access
Music Room: lift access
Student accommodation: wheelchair-accessible and lift access

North Quad for
Beehive Building: step-access to staircases 9/10; ramped access to staircase 11
Bursary Building: automated door entrance and lift access
Dining Hall: step-free access
Nurse’s Room: step-free access and automated door operated via a push pad
Senior Common Room: step, step-free and lift access
Student accommodation: inaccessible to wheelchair users due to internal stairs and external steps
Works Office: step-access

Thomas White Quad for
Bar: step-free access
Junior Common Room: step-access
Middle Common Room: step-free automated door entrance, step access/platform lift to first-floor
Student accommodation: inaccessible to wheelchair users due to internal stairs and external steps

Inaccessible Areas

The rooms and areas below are currently inaccessible to wheelchair users:

Library, Canterbury Quad*
New Seminar Room, Canterbury Quad
Laundry Room, Garden Quad
Dark Room, Dolphin Quad basement (staircase 2)
Lecture Theatre, Dolphin Quad
Laundry Room, Middleton Hall basement
Laundry Room, North Quad basement (staircase 3)
Seminar Room H, 14 St Giles
Seminar Room C, 15 St Giles
Laundry Room, Thomas White Building (staircase 3)

*The College will provide assistance/put in place measures to bring services to you if you cannot access them.

This information will be regularly updated as further access measures are introduced by the College.

St John’s is committed to creating a welcoming, fair and inclusive environment and any comments about our commitment to accessibility are encouraged and appreciated.  Please submit your comments to the Fellow for Equality via email at fellow.for.equality@sjc.ox.ac.uk.