Information on accessibility

Accessibility refers to the state of physical, psychological and social environment where everyone in spite of their properties has an equal opportunity to operate with others. Accessibility concerns all students and the whole personnel of the University. Every member of the University Community also contributes to the realisation of accessibility.

Accessibility is particularly important for those members of the University Community who have a handicap, are elderly or belong to cultural or linguistic minorities (here it refers to the physically challenged and the diversity of learners). Accessible environment and services are as applicable as possible to the needs of different individuals.

Accessibility also refers to the comprehensibility of the information and the opportunity to participate in the decision-making concerning oneself. Many practical solutions concerning accessibility, such as the structural and spatial design of the premises or the choice of the communication method serve all members of the University Community.

Accessibility does not only mean special arrangements but promotes trouble-free life, open communication, study, comprehension and interaction.

Different parts of accessibility

Study

It is important that the study and teaching arrangements have been organised so that also the diversity of learners and students with different disabilities get the support they need.

In addition to removing the physical barriers that impede movement, it is important that in teaching and supervision e.g. dyslexia and other learning difficulties as well as other individual needs are taken into consideration. Educational material, too, has to be applicable for as wide a range of students as possible.

Important factors affecting accessibility are for example

  • Student selection and the practical arrangements of entrance examinations (e.g. different forms of access to information, premises, facilities, form of exam questions)
  • Organisation and practical arrangement of teaching and study (organisation of teaching and methods used, study material, auxiliary equipment, assistance and online services)
  • Examination arrangements (such as registration, form of questions, organisation of the actual examination)
  • Teacher action (e.g. voice control, presentation of the teaching material).

Premises and the physical environment

Premises have a central role in obtaining accessibility because accessible environment is basically suitable for everyone. Accessibility is also a safety issue.

Accessibility has to be taken into account when e.g. following arrangements are planned:

  • Paths of travel (such as entrances, doors, thresholds, stairs and elevators)
  • Listening conditions (such as acoustics, sound transmission systems)
  • Lighting
  • Signs (e.g. size, height, clarity)
  • Floor and wall materials (e.g. slippery floors)
  • Colours and contrasts
  • Toilet facilities (e.g. security alarm)
  • Parking spaces (e.g. sufficient lighting in the area)

Communication

Accessibility has to be a natural part of communication at the University. Attention has to be paid to the availability of information, especially in connection with network services and printed communication.

Accessibility should also be taken into account when availability of communication and communication methods are considered (especially the technical solutions of network services)