Marking The International Day of Persons with Disabilities within Sport Handicap Inclusion Experience ERASMUS+ Project
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was marked in some EU-CONEXUS universities through a series of activities aimed at promoting awareness of the challenges that students with disabilities encounter in the university environment, using sports and social activities as tools to accept diversity within student communities.
The activities were initiated through the ERASMUS+ Sport Handicap Inclusive Experience project, initiated and coordinated by the La Rochelle Université in France, and partner universities are: Technical University of Civil Engineering in Bucharest, University of Zadar in Croatia, Klaipeda University in Lithuania, Agricultural University of Athens and Frederick University in Cyprus.
The main objective of this project is to increase the number of mobilities for students with disabilities by providing them with the necessary support for travel, as well as, to create a document with common procedures for the organization of these activities. The project also encourages students with disabilities to discover, and then, regularly, practice a sport, the central idea being not to separate students according to their physical abilities, but to promote joint sports activities.
In this spirit, several activities to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities were organized. In UTCB, both students and teachers participated in activities such as Sitting Volley Games, presentations on “Encourage Open Communication” and a workshop for teachers “Appraisals on the need to adapt the way of teaching for people with disabilities”, together with Ms. Georgiana Fenic, Psychologist and School Counselor.
Frederick University invited a group of disabled persons to better get to know the sport of tennis. In cooperation with the teacher of the Course Stella Demetriou and the students of the University’s Physical Education and Sport Program, the participants had the opportunity to try basic tennis techniques and learn about the regulations governing the sport of tennis in wheelchairs.
University of Zadar organized a workshop for students about the Croatian sign language and the inclusion of the students with hearing deficit in the regular education system.
The UCV has incorporated the cross-cutting competency in the training curriculum of each degree programme, in order to contribute to promoting a more inclusive society through activities such as seminars, underwater trail for people with disabilities, etc. At the beginning of December, it started the practice workshops on deaf-blind awareness with students of several faculties. All develop by the Campus Capacitas.
Furthermore, Klaipeda University organized an annual event, now in its eleventh year, dedicated to International Disability Awareness Day – “I’m not indifferent, and you?” that took place 2th December, 2022. The event attracted as many as 2,000 children and over 100 Lithuanian schools and kindergartens this year.
The organizers of the event, Dolphin Assisted Therapy Center of the Lithuanian Sea Museum and the Department of Holistic Medicine and Rehabilitation of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Klaipeda, emphasized the significance of People with Disabilities Day, awareness and understanding of people with disabilities, in order that pre-schoolers and younger students would have the broadest possible comprehension of what it means to live with a disability. Children explored the world of people with hearing and visual impairments, tried a variety of activities that apply to people with physical and mental disabilities, and tested how they can move with the aid of crutches or a wheelchair in the special laboratories set up in the premises of Klaipeda University.
Finally, the La Rochelle Université organized a series of Basketball Games for students in wheelchairs. Also, La Rochelle Université will host the first physical Sports event for students of this project, in March, organizing sailing activities for students with disabilities.