Disabled student does not want to go back to ‘normal’

 

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No return to ‘normal’ after the corona pandemic: higher education can and must become more accessible for students with disabilities, argues Every(in), the umbrella organisation representing the interests of people with disabilities. During the pandemic, the standard - online - educational programme suddenly met the needs of many students with disabilities.  “That says a lot about the accessibility of education before corona and we should not go back to that”, says Lydia Vlagsma of Ieder(in). Now that most of the measures have disappeared, the advocacy group finds that education is once again not very flexible.

 

This has to change, thinks Vlagsma. According to her, teachers need help in offering hybrid education. “The UN Convention on Disability states that people with disabilities have the right to participate in education on an equal basis. Educational institutions are obliged to make this possible, unless it requires a disproportionate effort”, she explains.

 

A structural arrangement does not seem to be in sight yet. The umbrella association of universities (UNL) wants to offer ‘customisation where possible’ and the association of universities of applied sciences (VH) wants to ‘try and accommodate students individually’. They agree that it is ‘very complicated’ to provide all education both physically and online. (HOP, JvE)