International Day of Persons with Disabilities
„Save the date” is a series of articles that have been written to celebrate various unusual holidays. The authors of the presented materials are students, doctoral students and employees of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Silesia.
3 December is celebrated International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
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Małgorzata Gajos-Gržetić, PhD
“A person with disabilities must first of all be noticed. Then, as you get closer to them, you can see an ordinary person who, just like us, has feelings, talents, ambitions, different needs and wants to be treated normally” – Anna Dymna
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was established in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly with the aim of drawing attention to the problems faced by persons with disabilities on a daily basis.
In recent years, activities aimed at full realisation of the rights of persons with disabilities have been undertaken to an increasing extent. The Acts of 2019:
- on Providing Accessibility for Persons with Special Needs,
- on Digital Accessibility to Websites and Mobile Applications of Public Entities,
result in a number of initiatives aimed at supporting persons with special needs. Employees of the University of Silesia in Katowice, including the Faculty of Science and Technology, adapt websites, systems, portals, courses and teaching materials to the needs of people with various forms and levels of disability. At the University of Silesia, a Coordinator for Accessibility is appointed, while each faculty has its own Faculty Substantive Coordinator for Accessibility, and Organisational Coordinators for Accessibility in dean’s offices. They are responsible for supporting people with special needs in accessing “services” provided by the department, among others in the field of Individual Adaptation of Studies. Coordinator for Accessibility cooperates with the Student Service Centre.
The Substantive Coordinator for Accessibility of the Faculty of Science and Technology is Małgorzata Gajos-Gržetić, PhD.
Moreover, university-wide projects aimed at increasing the scope of accessibility as well as the level of openness and universality of the University of Silesia are implemented. The employees of the Faculty of Science and Technology are also actively involved in them. One of such elements is the project “DUO – University of Silesia – available, universal and open” https://www.duo.us.edu.pl/pl
Accessibility and a university without barriers are a priority. We focus on the difficulties faced by persons with special needs, and successively solve them. Thanks to many initiatives and activities we we can break down the barriers (such as communication barrier or language barrier), activate students and employees, and create opportunities for integration.
In 2022, the implementation of the project “UNIWERS-US. Staff of the University of Silesia in Katowice for Universal Design” will begin. Universal design means designing products and environments that can be used by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design.
We will overcome all barriers thanks to empathy, knowledge, and creativity. Noticing obstacles is the first step to success.
More on the topic of Accessibility can be found at: https://us.edu.pl/student/en