For the eighth year in Lviv Polytechnic the university’s infrastructure has been transforming into a barrier-free study space, and an inclusive education policy has being implemented to meet a wide range of educational, informational and social needs of persons with disabilities and chronic diseases. Today, this direction is developing more actively, expanding the scope of its activities. Vice-Rector Roman Korzh and Director of the International «Integration» Center for Professional Partnerships, social work consultant Nina Haiduk tells us what has already been done and how this inclusive education policy will be developing.
The achievements of Polytechnic in implementing inclusiveness
– Inclusive education policy at our university is purposeful activity at the international, national, regional and local university levels, associated with the adoption of responsible decisions – laws, regulations, orders and procedures in the field of inclusive education. The development of an inclusive education system is based on a regular assessment of needs, especially those with disabilities, chronic diseases and other special educational needs, including the needs of war veterans, combatants and their families, said Vice-Rector Roman Korzh.
This academic year 225 full-time students with disabilities have been studying at Polytechnic, 2 students – ATO participants, 508 students – children of ATO participants, 8 students – children of deceased ATO participants and 153 students – internally displaced persons. University employs 227 persons with disabilities, 69 of which are lecturers.
In addition, under the project «Ukraine-Norway» from 2014, there has been operating a program of «Retraining and Social Adaptation of Servicemen and Their Family Members in Ukraine». During this period, 300 military officers, in particular the ATO participants in reserve duties and members of their families were retrained in Lviv Polytechnic.
From 2011, the Resource Center for Educational Information Technology for Persons with Disabilities (the focus of interest are visually impaired children and young people) has been realizing the rights to higher education for persons with disabilities and chronic diseases, conducting enlightening activity and introducing innovative methods and services in the field of inclusive education.
For more than three years, from December 2015, the International «Integration» Center for Professional Partnerships of the Institute of the Humanities and Social Sciences has been implementing the assessment of needs and the implementation of innovative strategies, technologies and experience in the field of social inclusion and inclusive education, taking into account our realities at our university. For more than a year, from 2017, the «No Limits» Accessibility Services has been functioning as a part of «Integration» Center. During this time, there was developed an inclusive model of provision of educational services in Lviv Polytechnic, which determines the order of personal support of people with disabilities and other less-mobile groups at the university.
There also was developed «No Limits» Partnership Network, which includes well-known Ukrainian and foreign universities, as well as other partner organizations, mostly on the basis of concluded cooperation agreements.
The key partners of Lviv Polytechnic in the field of social inclusion and inclusive education are the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, Canada) and the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies (Ottawa, Canada), with which we have been cooperating for 20 years; the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg (Germany); Nord University (Norway), Frederick Community College (Maryland, USA), State Agency for Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Problems (Warsaw, Poland).