Access in FemPhys Spaces

This document aims to outline the accessibility or lack thereof in FemPhys spaces, including our room and FemPhys events. Accessibility is affected by many things, from having kitchen space to wide doors to dim lights and quiet socializing.

The FemPhys Room: PHY 104

Location & General Information

  • The Physics building is located in the southeastern quadrant of campus, north of RCH, west of E2, south of EIT, and east of Needles Hall. It is connected on all three floors to EIT and on the third floor to E2. 
  • The FemPhys room is in Physics 104, located just to the east of the main lobby.
  • There are two binary gendered washrooms near the room. Neither has a barrier-free stall. All doors are light. 
  • The room is open during office hours and events held there. Execs and room volunteers have the code to the room. Anyone can be trained to be a room volunteer.
  • Comments and/or problems relating to the room or experiences in the room can be directed to the exec team or to FemPhys’ faculty advisor.

Room Resources

Our room has things in it, which are freely available to use during office hours:

  • whiteboard and markers
  • kitchenette with sink, microwave, kettle, cutlery, mugs, dishes, fridge, and lots of tea
  • sometimes snacks, like carrots and hummus or cookies
  • light plastic chairs and padded chairs with armrests
  • tables of various heights and sizes
  • loanable library & community resources
  • menstrual products
  • stationery and art supplies, including pens, pencils, markers, glue, paper, and a stapler

FemPhys Room Accessibility Info

Information for people with mobility disabilities

  • There is one elevator at the north end of the hallway, just inside EIT. It connects the floors of Physics to those of EIT, which are off by one-half story. 
  • The main entrance doors are automatic; no doors inside the building are. The inside doors are not heavy.
  • The terrain around the building is fairly flat and mostly cobblestone and asphalt. 
  • There are low couches and cushioned chairs with armrests available.
  • The building is usually warm. 
  • There is no barrier-free washroom in the Physics building; the nearest is in EIT.

Information for Deaf, hard of hearing, and sound sensitive people

  • The walls are cinderblocks, and the room can get very loud when there are many people in it.
  • Some of our members can communicate minimally in ASL.
  • We have not yet worked to provide live captioning or signing at our discussions or talks. 

Information for blind, partially sighted, and photosensitive people

  • All resources except our library books can be made available in large print upon request.
  • The room is lit by dimmable, flicker-free fluorescent lighting.
  • There are windows in the room with blinds.

Information for Autistic, anxious, and neurodiverse people

  • If you would like to meet with one person in advance of a group event, let us know.
  • The room can be very loud.
  • All event participants are welcome to use the space as needed, including pacing, stimming, and leaving.

Food & Dietary Information

  • Food provided at FemPhys events is nut-free and vegetarian. Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free food can be easily made available. Stricter dietary requirements can be accommodated on request.
  • A variety of teas, including herbal and tannin-free, are always available.
  • You are always welcome to bring your own food and drink.
  • Please inform a room volunteer if you have an allergy that requires people not eat the allergen around you. If you brought food with common allergens, ask if anyone is allergic before you open it.

Common Social Scenarios

  • Tea & Talk is an event focused on socializing. People drink tea and sometimes eat their lunch sitting in one or a couple groups. It's ok to not have tea or eat. It’s also ok to not participate in the conversation or to want to talk about something else. Common conversation topics include food, plants, clothing, thrift shopping, books, Netflix shows, and more. Emotional support is often offered between participants. Particularly difficult discussions, especially arguments about feminism and related topics, are discouraged during this time. 
  • Office hours are unstructured and may involve quiet studying or socializing. Engaging in socialization is not necessary to use the room. Room volunteers are expected to initiate engagement with individuals who enter the room, though. If you don’t want to do talk, be honest. Respect of the room and room volunteers is expected. 
  • Other events held in the room may be very busy and loud. 

Other spaces

Our events are almost always held at the University of Waterloo.

Usually, events are held in the Physics building, the Quantum Nano Centre (QNC), RCH, or Mathematics and Computing (MC).

  • Physics 308 is our most-used room. It is located on the third floor of the Physics building at the south end of the main hallway.
    • It holds about 30 people and has one entrance at the back of the room. There are blackboards at the front and a projector. There are three rows of tables with plastic chairs.
    • There are two binary gendered washrooms just north of the room, neither of which have wheelchair-accessible stalls. There are paper towels in both washrooms.
    • The fluorescent lights are quite bright and the room can be well lit by natural light most days. It gets very warm next to the windows. 
  • Mentoring Night is held in the second floor kitchen of the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), located in the northwestern corner of the QNC. The kitchen is in an atrium-like area. There is a large open space in the middle which connects all floors of the IQC. There are banisters surrounding this space. It is two stories to the ground from the banisters in the kitchen.
    • There is a full-sized fridge, two microwaves, a toaster oven, a water filter with cold and hot water, a drip coffee machine, an espresso machine, and two sinks.
    • There is a large rectangular island that people often stand around. The seating area is large and has many small tables with shaped wooden chairs. The tables and chairs are loud when moved. 
    • The lighting is flicker-free and fluorescent. The area is well-lit by natural light in the day.
    • There are two binary gendered washrooms and a single stall gender neutral washroom just down the hallway southwest to the kitchen. The single stall washroom has a change table about 3’ off the ground, is large, and has bars on the wall. The door is not wide, is not automatic, and is pretty heavy. The single stall washroom is very quiet. 

For additional information or to make a request, please email us

This page has been adapted from the Belfast Trans Resource Centre Access Information under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA v4.0 license.