Focusing its educational and research policy on connecting academic knowledge with real-life conditions of social development and promotion, the University of Ioannina tries to strengthen its disabled students’ scientific and professional profile and helps them achieve their goals.

The University Senate’s session no. 1028/37/3-3-2016 established a Committee to support and develop good practices to address any difficulties faced by disabled students:

Chair of the Disability Committee: Mr Andreas Fotopoulos, Professor at the Department of Medicine, Vice Rector

 SCHOOL OF PHILOSOPHY

  • DEPARTMENT OF PHILOLOGY: Maria Lekakou, Assistant Professor at the Department of Philology
  • DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY: Panagiotis Antonopoulos, Professor of Byzantine History and Professor of History of the Medieval West, 4th to 15th century
  • DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY, EDUCATION AND PSYCHOLOGY: Evangelia Karagiannopoulou, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology

 SCHOOL OF SCIENCES

  • DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICS: Apostolos Batsidis, Assistant Professor at the Department of Mathematics
  • DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS: Christos Lolis, Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics
  • DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY: Dimosthenis Giokas, Assistant Professor of Analytical Chemistry (Analytical Chemistry Lab)
  • DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING: Panagiotis Tsaparas, Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, topic of expertise: “Data Mining and Management”
  • DEPARTMENT OF MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING: Leonidas Gergidis, Assistant Professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, topic of expertise: “Mathematical and Computer Modeling in Materials Engineering”

 SCHOOL OF EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES

  • DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY EDUCATION: Spyros Soulis, Associate Professor at the Department of Primary Education, topic of expertise: “Special Education”
  • DEPARTMENT OF PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION: Georgia Papantoniou, Assistant Professor at the Department of Pre-School Education, topic of expertise: “Cognitive Psychology”

 SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

  • DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS: Athanasios Stavrakoudis, Assistant Professor of Computer Simulation

 SCHOOL OF HEALTH SCIENCES

  • DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE: Dimitrios Peschos, Assistant Professor at the Physiology Lab
  • DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY: Amalia Afendra, Assistant Professor at the Department of Biological Applications and Technology, topic of expertise: “Microbial Genetics”

SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS

  • DEPARTMENT OF FINE ARTS AND ART SCIENCES: Zikos Dedos, Associate Professor at the Department of Fine Arts and Art Sciences, topic of expertise: “Art Education”

 SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING

  • DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING Angelos Papageorgiou, Associate Professor at the Department of Architectural Engineering, topic of expertise: “Architectural and Urban Design”

The Committee’s main task is to implement a set of appropriate and innovative actions, in order to establish a statutory, long-term sustainable support framework for disabled students in terms of improving the level of education and providing specialized and sufficient knowledge, in terms of optimizing implementation practices on the curriculum and know-how, the enhancement of their skills and competence in conducting innovative research, and their integration into the labor market.

Therefore, we have launched an ongoing project on the implementation of a set of appropriate and innovative actions, in order to establish a statutory, long-term sustainable support framework for disabled students in terms of improving the level of education and providing specialized and sufficient knowledge, in terms of optimizing implementation practices on the curriculum and know-how, the enhancement of their skills and competence in conducting innovative research, and their integration into the labor market.

In particular, the following individual actions were taken with respect to raising awareness and providing services:

In terms of raising awareness among the academic community:

  • recording of the University’s disabled students, in order to outline and map both the needs of our University in general and the needs of Departments, with respect to students’ individual needs and the educational environment;
  • development of appropriate plans to intervene in and optimize existing strategies and practices related to training and acquisition of the skills needed to boost the careers of disabled students;
  • raising awareness among students and the academic community in general, by distributing leaflets that outline the services provided by the University;
  • raising awareness among the University’s academic staff, by preparing a “Code of Conduct and Teaching Strategies Guide” for disabled students;
  • development and submission of research programmes targeted to support disabled students. The submission of a proposal to the Erasmus+ programme for disabled students in cooperation with Universities from five European countries, with regard to training a group of disabled students in a specialized subject, is one such programme.

In terms of offered services:

  • appoint a Teacher-Advisor for disabled students in each Department, who will help build appropriate and successful communication between students and teachers, in order to help reduce any difficulties that may arise during the course of their studies, provide high level of education and offer motivation to minimize the potential risk of dropping out;
  • appoint one administrative official in each Department/School Secretariat to inform/assist disabled students with Department/School matters: student registration, procedures and dates for document submission, exams, inform disabled students on programmes, urgent announcements, regulations, events, etc.);
  • create a website to inform disabled students in a timely and accurate manner about the following: education issues, sociocultural interests and educational events and projects, important information on benefits and services, job searching, legislation, postgraduate studies;
  • offer counseling and support during personalized sessions, at a psycho-emotional-social level (boost ego image, reinforce engagement in group assignments and taking initiative during their studies, discuss matters related to the students themselves);
  • run workshops where participants are urged to externalize, describe, redefine and better manage their feelings and experiences, to help them complete their studies in the best possible way.

Continuing, optimizing and expanding the work of our University’s Employment and Career Centre (DASTA) in cooperation with social organizations, agencies and institutions to support disabled students is deemed critical.

Therefore, as part of planning and developing opportunities to optimize the knowledge and training offered, and the acquisition and utilization of skills in the labor market, the following projects were proposed for implementation:

  • constantly mapping and understanding the needs of our University’s disabled students (statistical processing and data analysis);
  • creating volunteer groups (students, alumni, associations and organizations);
  • empowering disabled students to participate equally and successfully through the University’s social networking and involvement pillars (cultural organizations, clubs, student associations);
  • establishing successful partnerships with professional, social and institutional entities at local and national level, to provide proper and sufficient conditions that will help disabled students successfully complete their internships (private and public entities), receive job search support (Greek Manpower Employment Organization), and have an opportunity to continue their studies (scholarship funding organizations);
  • developing specifications to enable access to and use of the University’s spaces and services: (buildings and equipment, special signs, creation of campus models in Braille), transfer from and to the University, use of facilities (libraries, gyms, venues)