Towards a truly accessible university: Overcoming barriers for people on the autism spectrum and with learning difficulties
The Rectorate of the University of Malta, in collaboration with the Faculty for Social Wellbeing, has been listening to concerns voiced by parents, students and the public about better access to tertiary education for persons on the autistic spectrum and those with learning difficulties. In this regard, the University is organising a conference that will help it understand the challenges so that it can respond effectively.
Students on the autistic spectrum and dyslexia have ample support during their primary and secondary education but they seem to face difficulties accessing tertiary level education. The University feels the time is ripe for it to evaluate its current position about access arrangements for these students. The objective of this conference, which will bring together stakeholders namely students, academics and experts, parents’ organisations and policy makers, is to identify ways how the University may overcome existing barriers and respond to the current needs. The University will be looking into its operations so that it will be in a better position to accommodate these students who can profit from tertiary education.
The conference will be welcoming highest level participants including H.E. Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, who will speak about inclusion being all about decision-making, the Minister for Education and Employment, Evarist Bartolo, the Shadow Minister for Education and Employment, Therese Comodini Cachia MEP, the rector of the University of Malta, Professor Alfred J. Vella, the pro-rector for Staff and Student Affairs and Outreach, Dr Carmen Sammut, the dean, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, Dr Andrew Azzopardi, the chairman, KNPD and Disabled Activist, Oliver Scicluna, members of the KSU, as well as a number of academics, national and international experts, activists and persons with a particular interest in this field. The conference will discuss topics that include making accessibility work and the structures required at University for this to happen.
The conference is being held at the Auditorium, University of Malta Valletta Campus on 25 November. It is of particular interest to professionals, parents and students with learning disabilities, NGOs and the public in general. Attendance is free of charge but interested persons are asked to register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org