Burwood Campus Library opens Changing Places facility to everyone
Earlier this year, Deakin Library and the Deakin Infrastructure and Property Group collaborated to renovate and refresh several spaces in the Burwood Campus Library. This included creating a student after-hours tearoom adjacent to Corner Café, adding 240 more seats – including individual powered desks, study booths and quiet spaces on all three levels – and revitalising our support desk area in the lobby.
We also added new amenities, including a Changing Places facility for disabled people with complex needs.
Changing Places originated in the UK and has since opened facilities all over the world. These facilities provide an adult-sized change table, hoisting equipment and more accessible space for a person with a disability and their carer to move around.
Having a Changing Places facility on campus opens up more study and work flexibility for students, staff and visitors, while also making our campuses more accessible and inclusive. According to Architectural Design Manager Sonia Beck from Deakin’s Infrastructure and Property Group:
‘Presently, the lack of these kinds of facilities has resulted in students rearranging their timetable to allow them to only be on campus for restricted times, or students leaving campus to use facilities elsewhere (i.e. at home). Additionally, we have seen a significant increase in university participation by people with disabilities, some of whom have previously been unable to participate in tertiary education, highlighting the need for facilities that are better equipped than standard Accessible Toilets. We also hope that students who currently study online may choose to attend campus now that these facilities are available at both the Burwood and Waurn Ponds campuses.’
At Burwood Library, Changing Places is located in the rear west side of level two, which is the entrance level. As with all our library facilities, Changing Places is open to both Deakin users and the community.
When asked why the library was an important space to house Burwood’s Changing Places, University Librarian Craig Anderson said, ‘We in the University Library are delighted that the upgraded Burwood Library has a new Changing Places facility. As the most commonly used student destination on the Burwood Campus, it is well located, and its availability to the entire community emphasises Deakin’s role as part of the local community.’
Sonia Beck added, ‘[Burwood Library] provides users with 24hr access to Changing Places; it is centrally located on the campus and enjoys high student activity, thereby creating a safe and comfortable environment – it was an easy decision!’
There are also Changing Places facilities at Waurn Ponds Campus and Waterfront Campus, with a plan to open one at Warrnambool Campus in 2020. You can find out more about Changing Places at changingplaces.org.au.