Having made several study visits to some European universities we noticed that in the countries we visited there was no division between disabled persons and the rest of society and, in the university context, between disabled students and those without disabilities and academic teachers. There are entire communities of persons having some specific needs there. The awareness of the existence of such needs amongst disabled persons and ways in which they can be satisfied was key in the process of finding reasonable adjustments and adaptations. This awareness was being built in two ways – through co-existence and shared university experience as well as training courses.
And so back in Krakow we began to think how to convince academic teachers at the Jagiellonian University to take part in such courses. Someone floated a spontaneous idea: let us show them that such training courses are available and effective at universities even older than the JU.
And so we soon found ourselves at the University of Cambridge (founded in 1209) and the University of Padua (1222); in the third edition, one of our partners is Charles University of Prague (1348). The anecdotal evidence mentioned above could illustrate our inspirations. We are glad that the disability awareness courses have caught on at the Jagiellonian University, which must be also due to the fact that they bring benefits to all the teachers who in their daily work want to build a common educational space for non- and disabled persons. This can be achieved indeed and the results of your educational endeavours will give you lots of professional satisfaction. Try to feel it yourselves and begin by taking a DARe-Learning training course.