Union Accessibility

SOAS Students’ Union takes the issue of accessibility very seriously. Our union space may be small and used heavily used, however we have taken steps to ensure it remains accessible, and that events run by SOAS Student’s Union are inclusive and open to all. We have been working with national charity Attitude is Everything to improve access, and have been awarded Bronze Level according to their charter of best practice. We are now working towards achieving silver.

The Union space is level access. The main entrance to the building is via a flight of 7 steps or a 2 section ramp on the left hand side. Inside the main lobby, wheelchair users who do not have a SOAS card will need to be let through the access barrier by a security guard, on duty during core opening hours.

Most entertainment takes place on the ground floor. There is a lift in the main lobby of the school which provides access to the bar on the lower ground floor.  There are accessible toilets on both floors, and our staff are trained to make sure you have a great time at SOAS SU.

If you have any access requirements, feel free to contact our Activities Administrator on 020 7898 4996 to tell us how we can help you get the most out of the SOAS SU events programme.


If you would like to bring along a personal assistant to any of our ticketed events, we offer a free ticket scheme. Simply come into the Union, email su@soas.ac.uk or call on 020 7898 4996 to find out more.


Tickets for our events can be bought online or in person at the SU shop, office or bar.



Events at SOAS can become crowded making a direct sightline of the stage for customers with a variety or impairments difficult or impossible. To ensure you can watch a performance with clear sightlines a viewing area can be created upon request prior to a performance starting.

Please contact the Activities Administrator on 020 7898 4996 to request a viewing area at any of our events

Induction loop

A portable induction loop is available in the main reception of the University for use in the Students’ Union.





Getting to SOAS


By car/taxi, the most convenient set-down point is on Thornhaugh Street.

There are no parking facilities available, disabled or otherwise, at SOAS or the Institute of Education. There are however a number of NCP car parks nearby, for example Bedford Way, Coram Street and Marchmont Street.

More information regarding parking can be found on the London Borough of Camden web site.

Information regarding disabled parking in the London Borough of Camden can be found at: http://www.camden.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/transport-and-streets/parking/parking-permits/blue-and-green-disabled-permits/


N.B. SOAS is within the Congestion Charging zone however  Blue Badge Holders can apply for exemption from the Congestion Charge



The closest underground stations to the Institute of Education are Russell Square, Euston Square, Kings Cross and Euston.

King's Cross station is fully wheelchair accessible and has tactile paving. Please see the Transport for London web site for more information.


All buses in London are now wheelchair accessible. The following buses serve the local area: numbers 7, 68, 91, 168 and 188 stop on Russell Square; 10, 24, 29, 73 and 134 stop on Tottenham Court Road (north bound) or Gower Street (south bound).


The nearest mainline stations are Euston and Kings Cross.

Both stations have some step free access into the station; however the interchange with the underground is not step free.

Please see the National Rail web site for more information.



Website Accessibility

SOAS SU is committed to providing an accessible web presence. We've just gone live with our new website, and we are continuously improving it to make it fully accessible to all users.

The website is compatible with screen readers and tablets. The website is fully scalable, so the zoom function can be used to enlarge text without disorting other content.

Our website is colourful, but we have ensured that the contrast between colours  meet WCAG guidelines.

Making changes to your operating system

Advice from the BBC Accessibility website shows users how to make full use of accessibility settings in browsers and operating systems.

How to Guides:

·         I can't see very well

·         I am blind

·         I can't hear very well

·         I find words difficult

·         I find a keyboard or mouse hard to use

·         Browse all guides

·         Useful weblinks

Google Chrome Plug-in

Google provides a plug-in for its Chrome browser users to help them customise their settings for easier browsing on the web.



Viewing Area Policy


Events at SOAS can become crowded making a direct sightline of the stage for customers with a variety or impairments difficult or impossible. To ensure customers/students can watch a performance with clear sightlines a viewing area can be created upon request prior to a performance starting.

Please contact the Activities Administrator on …..to request a viewing area at any of our events

To create a viewing area a seat or area for a wheelchair should be provided for the disabled person and 1 friend/PA at the right hand side of the stage in the JCR. Ensure these spaces are reserved for the attendee –a space may be marked out on the floor using tape or chalk for wheelchair users in order to reserve it. This space should be near to the front of the stage, unless otherwise specified by the attendee, where other attendees cannot stand in front.

The area should be monitored throughout the event by the event organiser to ensure that ensure attendees using it and all other attendees are safe

Fire Safety

There are accessible exits from both the lower ground bar and the ground floor which are clearly signposted.

Visitors can also contact SOAS Health and Safety Office in advance to arrange their emergency egress on healthandsafety@soas.ac.uk

Sports and Societies training

When organising events and activities consider that some students/attendees may have different access needs, which may not always be immediately visible. SOAS SU is committed to being an open and inclusive Union, and to providing an accessible space for events and activities.

Some rooms at SOAS are NOT accessible, and it is better to avoid these when booking rooms. Rooms which are not accessible for wheelchair users:

·         KLT

·         All rooms above the ground floor in 53 Gordon Square (Doctoral School) and the Faber building

·         There is no access to 21/22 Russell Square (eg. Rooms T101, T102)

·         Some of the smaller rooms in the Brunei Gallery may not be suitable for a wheelchair user, but access is generally good

·         V211 & V111 are partially accessible as they are lecture theatres with fixed seating

For events in the JCR, attendees can contact the SU in advance to set up a viewing area for wheelchair users. The Activities Administrator can help you with this.

When organising events in the JCR, be sure maintain the access route marked out on the JCR floor. Do not place furniture or chairs on this route, and encourage anyone who is standing to leave this space free.

SOAS SU offers 2 for 1 deal for enablers or personal assistants to attend ticketed events for free. We encourage you to do the same for any ticketed events you hold.

There is an induction loop in the main reception which hard of hearing or deaf guests may wish to use.

The SOAS Union website has information about how to get to SOAS, 2 for 1 booking, viewing area, emergency exits and the induction loop. You can refer guests to this when organising events.

When designing posters, leaflets and web content, consider that certain choices of text, colour and background can make it very difficult to read, especially for students with visual impairment and Specific Learning Differences. For advice and support on creating publicity material, contact Vic Casambros on vc13@soas.ac.uk

This webpage was last updated on: 03 Feb 2015 15:28