Some thoughts from an outsider looking in!

It has been stated that you are never too old to learn! I think that this project is the perfect example of that for me. When I began to plan for Ana Leu’s project at the Institute for Community Research and Training at the College of Saint Rose, my thoughts drifted to the fact that I had been working on issues of disability for over 40 years. One more time would be interesting but probably not so “new” that it would generate the energy that I had felt earlier in my career. I am somewhat embarrassed but also pleased to say that I was wrong. What I experienced was a new energy on the part of the people that I met in Timisoara at the universities, in NGO’s that I visited and in talking to people that I met. We talked about the past, the barriers that were faced, and debated the challenges for the future. To a person, the message was clear. The time is right for change, to break down the barriers and to move forward. The Framework for Inclusion is the first step in that process of change and the inclusion of persons with all types of disABILITIES in the educational process. It is just the beginning of a movement to make sure that every person has the same rights to access opportunities that will improve not only their lives but the rights of others in the community as well.

My title for this piece was Some thoughts from an outsider looking in! But in fact I no longer feel that way. I am no longer an outsider, but I have a major stake in the outcome of this process as well. New energy – ABSOLUTLEY !

Rich Pulice

Community Solutions Program Mentor

International Research and Exchanges Board  (IREX)

Timisoara’s Most Accessible University Competition

The Euroregional Center for Democracy (CED) from Timisoara, Romania, in partnership with the College of Saint Rose from Albany, New York, is pleased to announce Timisoara’s Most Accessible University Competition.

The competition is part of the project “Beyond the label: A project to change disAbility perspectives in universities”, implemented within the frame of the Community Solutions Program of the U.S. Department of State.

The competition aims to encourage the higher education institutions of Timisoara to identify and solve at least one physical / informational accessibility issue that students with disabilities encounter.

The competition is open to any component of a university: department, school, counseling center, student organization, the university as a whole, etc.

The main stages of the competition are:

  1. Identifying the issue to be solved (by June 9, 2014);
  2. Drawing up a plan to solve the issue identified (June 10 – 16, 2014);
  3. Implementing the plan (June 16 – July 6, 2014);
  4. Informing the organizers of the competition about the results achieved (by July 13, 2014).

The winner will be chosen by a Romanian-American jury and will be announced publicly during the final conference “The Challenge of Education for All” (July 31, 2014).

CED particularly encourages the initiatives that:

–          engage / establish partnerships with student organizations, civil society representatives, other higher education institutions, etc.;

–          improve accessibility for more than one type of disability.

The winner will be promoted in the local, regional and national media, as well as in the materials prepared for and presentations made during the final conference. The project team will provide expert advice to all competitors, if needed.

To enroll in the competition, please fill in the form below and send it to anaclaudia_leu@yahoo.com by June 9, 2014.

For further details about the competition, please contact CED at 0356 40 11 39, e-mail: anaclaudia_leu@yahoo.com Contact person: Ana Leu – Program Manager.

Workshop “Implementation of the Framework on Inclusion of Students with Disabilities: The First Steps to Be Taken”

The workshop “Implementation of the Framework on Inclusion of Students with Disabilities: The First Steps to Be Taken” was held on Wednesday, April 2.

The event took place at the West University of Timisoara and had a special guest – Prof. Richard Pulice, Director of the Institute for Community Research and Training, and member of the Social Work Department at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York.

The workshop had the following objectives:

• to discuss the Inclusion Framework based on the working version prepared by the Euroregional Center for Democracy and the recommendations / suggestions made by universities, student associations and NGOs from Timișoara;

• to present good practice examples from the U.S. in terms  of accessible higher education institutions and cooperation with NGOs in order to meet the needs of people with special educational requirements;

• to provide expert advice to the universities of Timișoara for implementing the Inclusion Framework and identifying opportunities to cooperate with higher education institutions and specialized organizations from the U.S.

The workshop took place within the frame of the project “Beyond the label: A project to change disAbility perspectives in universities”, carried out as part of the Community Solutions Program – a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, implemented by IREX.

For further information about the workshop and opportunities for cooperation, please contact us at the Euroregional Center for Democracy, tel. 0356 40 11 39, email: anaclaudia_leu@yahoo.com. Contact person: Ana Leu.

 

About the blog

The Education for All Blog is part of the “Beyond the label” project, implemented by the Euroregional Center for Democracy from Timisoara, Romania, together with The College of Saint Rose from Albany, New York, U.S.A.

The aim of the blog is to bring into the spotlight the barriers encountered by students with disabilities, under the chapter “Stories of students with disabilities”, but also to inform in a timely manner about the progress made by the four public universities of Timisoara, in terms of accessibility.