The event ‘Accessible education at the UG’ took place on 6 October, during Accessibility Week. This event was organized by the Diversity and Inclusion Office, the Advisory Committee for Disabled Students (ACF), and the Teaching Academy Groningen (TAG) at the UG. Two issues were addressed: inclusive education and the accessibility of the UG’s buildings and online tools.
In a panel discussion, a group of students with disabilities and lecturers discussed their experiences of working and studying with a disability at the UG. They pointed out the prejudices that they face: Can somebody with dyslexia really go to university? Can someone with a physical disability actually become a professor? The students indicated that they see a lot of good intentions in terms of exam facilities and support, but that lecturers and staff members often do not have the right knowledge to arrange suitable teaching and exam facilities.
Online lectures was also a topic for discussion: a lot of students with disabilities benefited from this during the lockdowns. One autistic student explained that she was less overstimulated then than in a regular lecture room. And one hard-of-hearing student could finally hear everything that his fellow students said during class, because they all used a microphone. The students feel that it is a shame that lectures are no longer recorded as standard and that they cannot always replay them when they have missed one.
Finally, Rector Magnificus Cisca Wijmenga signed the UN Declaration of Intent for more inclusive education. In doing so, the UG underlines the importance of being an inclusive university: we will remain committed to and working towards becoming an accessible and inclusive university, together with the students, lecturers, and staff who are directly impacted!
The UG is seriously working on improving all of the above points. A few examples:
If you have any questions about these projects, please send an email to Aletta Westra, a.c.westra-hofstee rug.nl, project manager for the implementation of the policy plan for studying with a disability.
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