The University of Gdańsk 

The University of Gdańsk Welcome to the University The disabled

University without Barriers

There are almost 500 handicapped students and doctoral students studying at all the faculties of the University of Gdańsk and there are over 50 handicapped members of staff. The university authorities are making great efforts to create for handicapped persons the best possible conditions for studying and working. In 2000, a commission was established to work on the “University without barriers” project and a plenipotentiary for handicapped persons was appointed. (this function has been filled from the beginning by Dr Anna Kobylańska).

The task of the “University without barriers” project commission is above all to integrate actions undertaken to meet the needs of handicapped persons – this includes editing a bilingual university information system on the Internet about the facilities available to handicapped persons at the University of Gdańsk, individual help in the preparation of special teaching materials, realised with the cooperation of the Main Library of the University of Gdańsk, participation in national projects, cooperation with organisations working for handicapped persons. The commission includes employees of the university as well as students. At the beginning, the commission for the “University without barriers” project was chaired by Professor Joanna Rutkownik; since her retirement on 1 September 2005, the post has been held by Professor Dorota Simpson.

Within the framework of the “University without barriers” Project, every year there takes place at the university a “University without barriers” Forum, in which handicapped persons participate along with their tutors and members of the academic staff. This is an opportunity to meet and to present viewpoints and undergo discussions.

One of the University of Gdańsk’s priorities is to remove all architectural barriers in all the buildings of the university. Currently, ten of the UG buildings have been fully adapted to meet the needs of handicapped persons but there is still much to do, hence the ongoing modernisation programme. The new buildings which are being constructed within the University of Gdańsk’s Baltic Campus were designed from the beginning in such a way that they could meet the standards associated with handicapped persons.

In cooperation with handicapped persons and in response to their needs, other activities are also taking place at the University of Gdańsk. In some faculty and administrative buildings, Braille numbering has been attached to the doors and voice information provided in the lifts. The voice information is in Polish and English. In the new building of the UG Main Library, there is a specialist room in which teaching materials are prepared for blind and visually impaired persons. In five reading rooms of the UG Main Library, there are computer stations which have been specially adapted for the blind and visually impaired. On the university’s website, there is up-to-date information on the subject of the Rector’s “University without barriers” commission and information that is useful for handicapped persons.

The University of Gdańsk is also the only higher education institution in the Pomorze region and one of very few in Poland to have been fitted with equipment facilitating hearing. This equipment was bought and presented as the result of an agreement with the Pomorze Branch of the Fund for the Rehabilitation of Handicapped Persons within the framework of the PYTHAGORAS programme, realised by the University of Gdańsk to help those with hearing difficulties. The Fund’s financial support allowed for the equipping of lecture halls in the Faculty of Languages and History and in the Faculty of Law and Administration with apparatus designed to facilitate hearing. The UG’s handicapped students were also given portable FM systems facilitating hearing.

The University of Gdańsk is also cooperating with the INTEGRALIA Foundation for the Integration of Handicapped Persons, called into being by the Ergo Hestia Group, on finding and creating employment positions for handicapped persons.

The handicapped persons at the University of Gdańsk receive special grants as well as social grants and academic scholarships and they also benefit from target programmes prepared by the State Fund for the Rehabilitation of Handicapped Persons.

 

Information for handicapped persons at the University of Gdańsk: http://bariery.ug.gda.pl

 

 

Author: Beata Czechowska-Derkacz
Translator: Tadeusz Z. Wolański
Last updated: 04.01.2010



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