The Oxford Accessibility Project is a student-led initiative to improve accessibility across the University of Oxford's colleges and halls.
Who are we?
The Oxford Accessibility Project (OAP) is a student-led organisation that maps building accessibility for wheelchair users in Oxford, United Kingdom. Started in 2016 by four friends with mobility impairments, OAP has since seen more than 150 volunteers comprised of University of Oxford students, staff and faculty.
We are an ambitious, socially-minded organisation that sees disability as diversity. We're on a mission to empower disabled people in Oxford – particularly disabled students at the University of Oxford – to live engaged and fulfilling lives. By making detailed and reliable accessibility information about Oxford colleges available, we're empowering students and visitors to live and explore with greater confidence. By shining a light on the often overlooked environmental barriers to social inclusion faced by disabled people, our work also raises awareness of important issues of disability, access and inclusion.
What do we do?
OAP is building the first comprehensive, online access guide to all of the University of Oxford's 44 colleges and Permanent Private Halls. By making accessibility information more readily available, we're empowering present and future generations of Oxonians to engage with college life more fully, and socialise with greater confidence, purpose and ease.
Since late 2018, OAP has been working closely alongside the University's Estates Services team and the Conference of Colleges Equality & Diversity Disability Subcommittee to institutionalise our work and ensure its legacy and longevity. This website, in conjunction with the University's Access Guide, bears the fruits of our efforts. Looking ahead, all of our college profiles will be accessible via the Colleges link on the Access Guide.
Why not Oxford? If Oxford – home to the world’s oldest-English speaking university, replete with medieval and heritage-listed buildings, plagued by cobblestones and steps – can enthusiastically and sincerely commit to improving accessibility, we can set a powerful example for other universities and institutions around the world! To us, Oxford is the perfect place to seize an opportunity, to push for progress and to champion change.
So, join OAP today and let's make Oxford – and then the world – accessible to all!
Dr George Hedger
George arrived in Oxford in 2010, as an undergraduate reading Biochemistry at Lincoln College.
During his time at Oxford, George developed a strong knowledge of accessibility in Oxford's pubs, bars, restaurants, and social venue. Now a Research Fellow at D. E. Shaw Research in New York City, George remains passionate about developing state-of-the-art resources to document accessibility information, and drive access improvements for future generations by creating a network of Oxford students and staff passionate about accessibility.
Ruth is a final year DPhil working on explaining the concepts that AI models are learning.
She's excited to be a part of OAP to help explain the missing gaps in Oxford's accessibility and enjoys cooking vegetarian at home, playing boardgames at Thirsty Meeples, and trying lots of different cuisines around town!
Jay Ruckelshaus is 3rd year DPhil student at St. John’s College studying political theory. He hails from Indianapolis, Indiana, and loves outdoor strolls, big furry dogs, a good Romantic poem, and not getting locked out of social venues in Oxford due to inaccessibility.
Jay excited to be a part of OAP to help make Oxford more accessible. He is also the founder and CEO of Ramp Less Traveled, a US not-for-profit dedicated to helping students with spinal cord injuries get to college.
Matt completed a Master of Public Policy and MSc in Social Science of the Internet at Oxford in 2017. As a lawyer, Matt is interested in how structural factors – such as laws and public policies – feed into the myths around, and low expectations of, people with disabilities.
Matt is passionate about empowering social inclusion and meaningful equality of opportunity for disabled people worldwide, by changing how we think about, discuss and act towards disability.