It is essential for our university to support and assist students with special needs. Student Support provides assistance to students with special (training) needs in order to achieve a successful degree. We consider it important that those who have the skills to enter a higher education institution do not face obstacles because of their special needs that we can solve together.
Organized support for students with disabilities has a long history at our university. Since 2004, there has been a disability policy and a disability coordinator system at the university under the direction of the Student Counselling Center, which has organized and operated a study support system for students with disabilities.
As of 1 September 2020, the University Policy on Equal Study Opportunities for Students with Disabilities has been revised. It covers student studies, educational organization, integration, dormitory placement issues, recreational and community activities. In addition, a Student Support Group of professionals within the Student Service has been established. One of the goals of the community is to provide equal access to students to their studies and to provide support in the successful completion of their training. Currently, there are 72 students with disabilities in our university records (70 Hungarian students and 2 foreign students). Of the 70 Hungarian students, 2 study at the Székesfehérvár Campus. This number is not constant, as it depends on the student's current life situation, the validity of expert opinions, and the conditions diagnosed. The purpose of the support is to ensure smooth learning in accordance with equal treatment, to encourage and assist the students concerned to participate in exchange programs abroad, to support them in starting their careers, and to facilitate their integration on both the Budapest and Székesfehérvár Campuses.This is what counselling, various program and measures are used for during their training. By helping to develop and disseminate an inclusive approach, students with special needs can equally participate in and enjoy university life. The consultations include an assessment of needs, which serves and focuses on meeting these needs as much as possible. A further aim is to minimize barriers and disadvantages, to provide conditions in addition to effective needs assessment and enforcement that allow them to carry out most of their activities. To facilitate this, the university has arranged the following:
built environmental accessibility
helping the visually impaired (with route instruction, digital curriculum, etc.),
assisting the hearing impaired (by describing information, subtitling, sign language interpreters, etc.),
facilitating access to information and communication (available readers, spelling and synonym dictionaries, etc.),
minimizing environmental noise (to focus attention, reduce distracting sounds and lights, etc.)
In addition to these, a university service that makes life easier for many was also introduced on the Budapest Campus. There is a quiet room for students with special needs, which serves the purpose of allowing the comfortably furnished room to be used by students with disabilities or chronically ill (diabetic, transplanted, etc.) as well as parents with small children and pregnant mothers. The room is suitable for a short break, for the care of small children, or for discreet and hygienic medication. Those concerned can currently use the room with an appointment made with the disability coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org after prior registration. In the future, we want to develop an employment rehabilitation system at the university that can facilitate the learning-career transition for these students.
We intend to implement all this with methodological developments, information supply and dissemination with the involvement of regional specialists (HR coach specialists, specialist trainers) in the spirit of the ideal “right person - for the right place” approach, which would contribute to and support the employment of individuals with disabilities through professional consultations, focusing on working methods and rhythm of life.
The system could purposefully guide the student through a model program to the desired position, which would improve the flow of information between actors, reduce inaccurate processes and weaknesses in the system, such as communication problems, interests, territorial location, coordination of competitive market competencies. It would strengthen the follow-up system, and a comprehensive mentoring program would be available in collaboration with student and NGO organizations. Inclusive learning and the creation of an inclusive workplace remain an important aspect in the approach. The Equal Opportunities Officer of the Student Support Group will continue to strive to reach as many groups of society as possible with the importance of disability knowledge and equal opportunities. If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to contact our expert colleague Rózsa Melinda by email at email@example.com.