Trinity College - Open to All
Trinity College’s new accessible pathway ensures the historic campus can be enjoyed by everyone... including The Queen of England! DECLAN REILLY, Disability Officer at Trinity, writes about the completion of the project to construct the path.
The long awaited accessible pathway through the cobblestones of the Front Square of Trinity College has finally been completed. After more than 10 years of planning, work began in November 2010 but was frozen to a halt by extreme weather throughout December. The work resumed in the New Year and section by section the pavement brought accessibility to every corner of the famous Front Square.
By May, the Queen of England had set foot upon the accessible pathway on her way to the Old Library. In June many of the remaining sections connecting to ramps in Houses 1 to 10 were completed. Finally, July saw the completion of the works and an end to the inaccessible terrain of the Front Square of Trinity College.
The completion of the pathway sends a strong signal to the wider community. Both in a physical and symbolic sense, the college is demonstrating its commitment to the rights of all people with disabilities, be they students, staff or visitors.
A small section of cobblestones without accessible paving still remains in Fellows’ Square. This is a busy section of the campus between the Arts Building and the Old Library where the Book of Kells exhibit is located. An application for planning permission has been made to extend the accessible pathway through the cobblestones of Fellows’ Square. When completed all the historic squares of the campus will be accessible.
The extensive pathway through the Front Square is also a demonstration of Universal Design Principles in that everyone who accesses the Front Square of Trinity College benefits from it, including people with pushchairs and anybody with limited mobility.
As the college is now more accessible than ever it is hoped that the completion of the pathway will encourage more people with physical or mobility disabilities to consider entering Trinity in the years ahead. Whether as students, employees or visitors, the college is open to all.
For further information on accessibility at TCD, click here.