Within this event, the project "Mob4All - Mobility for All" presented the general goals of the project and the main results of the project. A purpose-built Moodle course and guide for mobility agents, co-developed with project partners (the University of Seville, the University of Côte d'Azur, University of Genoa, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Science, Incoma, Uniser, and MCI | The Entrepreneurial School®) were presented.
MCI took the opportunity to present the project and discuss the topic of "Inclusion & Higher Education" with two of MCI’s collaborative partners, the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired Tyrol and Lebenshilfe Tyrol. This allowed for a very engaging dialogue between political decision-makers, disability support associations, academic and non-academic staff, and various stakeholders from the university. Katharina Radisavljevic and Cora Mantel of the MCI guided the participants throughout the day.
A particularly interesting contribution was provided by Gabriele Fischer, former Tyrolean State Councilor for Social Affairs and Integration. In her speech, she addressed the development of the “Tiroler Aktionsplan” and the current situation of people with disabilities in Tyrol, as well as shared her own personal experience and commitment to the topic with the participants.
Another very interesting contribution was the presentation of the research project "Social Space Oriented Care of People with Disabilities" by Lukas Kerschbaumer, Head of the Bachelor's Programme in Nonprofit, Social & Health Management at MCI, in partnership with Diakonie Rosenheim. The goal of this project is to establish and intensify cross-border, needs-oriented, barrier-free services in order to contribute to synergetic care for persons with disabilities and to strengthen the border region as an inclusion-friendly social space. Please find more information here.
In the subsequent panel discussion, a small group discussed how barriers can be overcome and where universities currently need to catch up. Gabriele Fischer (former provincial councilor), Nicole Wimmer (Lebenshilfe), Janine Prokesch (MCI), Josef Wieser (Innovia), and Bettina Jeschke (LFU) were representatives from different institutions along with two former students with disabilities who shared their experiences and provided insights during the panel discussion.
Josef Wieser (Innovia) reported on his own experience as a wheelchair user during a semester abroad and showed that even staying in a neighboring country with the same language can bring some challenges.
Nicole Wimmer (Lebenshilfe) shared her experiences as a blind student in Austria with the participants and noted that for a smooth course of studies, the understanding of inclusion in higher education institutions in particular needs to be strengthened.
Janine Prokesch (MCI) and Bettina Jeschke (LFU) presented their views as disability representatives. They described their impressions of many years of work and also pointed out more recent topics and challenges that became relevant through the COVID-19 pandemic. Gabriele Fischer rounded off the panel discussion from a political point of view and shared with the participants her insights as State Councilor for Social Affairs and Integration. As a politician, she knows how slow dialogue can be, especially when it concerns a topic that only affects a small percentage of the population.
Following the panel discussion, the participants engaged in three different interactive activities to exchange ideas and improve knowledge about the various challenges commonly faced by people with disabilities. The workshop of Lebenshilfe Tirol discussed the implications of mobility and sustainable and self-determined mobility not for people with disabilities. The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired Tyrol provided participants with a variety of self-experiences to make disability tangible. In the workshop of MCI | The Entrepreneurial School®, they could also learn what it means to live with a disability and which assistive technologies are available to design the workplace.
ABOUT MOB4ALL - "Mobility for all"
The MOB4ALL project is an Erasmus+ funded satellite project of Ulysseus - the European University, which seeks to promote transnational mobility of students with disabilities and reduce inequalities in access to resources and opportunities in higher education. Together with the project partners of the University of Seville, University of Côte D'Azur, University of Genoa, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Science, Incoma, Uniser, and MCI | The Entrepreneurial University®, work has been underway since October 2020 to build capacity to support students.
The MOB4ALL Multiplier Event "Inclusion and Higher Education" at MCI was a great success. ©MCI / John Gardiner