Disability

Second Action Plan on disability and inclusion of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
2018-2023 period. (2nd DAP)
Approved by the Governing Council at the session on March 14, 2018

Presentation

The Second Action Plan on disability and inclusion of the UAB for 2018-2023 (2nd DAP) is an answer to the political commitment of the University to guarantee the rights and the inclusion of people with disabilities. As a continuation of the Action Plan for Equal Opportunities for people with disabilities at UAB for the 2011-2015 (1st DAP), approved by the Governing Council at the session on November 17, 2010, it is a tool that allows the definition of the policies to help people with disabilities and how inclusion must take place in the university.

On top of legal requirements, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona understands that in order to guarantee people’s rights, political will, action in all areas and the implication of the whole community are necessary.

The Action Plan on disability and inclusion of the UAB (2nd DAP) is considered a tool that must allow the definition of inclusive policies at the University. It is a document written by the UAB’s Observatory for Equality, a unit responsible for the elaboration of the diagnosis, the assistance in the discussion of the measures and the final writing. The preparation process of the 2nd ADP has as a starting point the diagnosis taking the following aspects into account: a) the evaluation of the degree of implementation of the first action plan (1st DAP, 2011-2015); b) a collection of the applicable regulations on disability and university; c) the update of the data regarding the situation of the people with disabilities at the UAB; d) the rating of difficulties and obstacles by the community of people with disabilities. Furthermore, it has counted with the help of a technical commission of expert people (academic staff, administrative and service staff and students) that has discussed and reached an agreement on the axes of action and the concretion of the measures.

The group of measures is organized in four axes and expects an application time frame of six years. The presented measures are: 1) those of the first action plan that still have not been applied or are permanent, in many cases modified and adapted according to reality and the current situation; and 2) new actions that respond to issues detected with the diagnosis and to the changes of the applicable regulations.

Structure and content

The action plan comprises 32 measures grouped in four axes or areas of action. The responsible governing bodies and executors, the tools and the goals to be reached and the calendar of application are specified for each of the measures. The axes are the following:

— Axis 1. Visibility and awareness: it includes all those actions that have as a purpose to spread the rights and the situation or reality of the people with disabilities, to announce the policies and actions of the UAB relating to disability, and to promote the full participation of this community in the different spaces.
— Axis 2. Accessibility and mobility: it specifies the measures directed to guarantee accessibility and physical and virtual mobility.
— Axis 3. Development of the activity: study, work and promotion: it comprises those actions to adapt the surroundings that are needed to guarantee the development without difficulty of daily life, whether study or work, and that are an answer to the specific and particular needs of each person.
— Axis 4. University politics and organisation: it defines the actions making reference to the University’s regulations or its model of management and organisation.

In each of the axes presented in this action plan there are measures originating from legal fulfilment and the results obtained from the diagnosis. It is made clear that the UAB has expressed along the years its commitment and awareness of the situation of people with disabilities, both in the institutional and regulation level, as well as in relation to answering to the needs of the community. In this sense, for example, it is worth to note the advances in the improvement of the Campus’ accessibility or the UAB’s web pages, the creation and enforcement of the Mobility Plan in order to create a universally accessible Campus or the existence since 1993 of the PIUNE, the Disabled Persons Care Service.

However, the diagnosis has specially allowed us to detect in which aspects there is still a need of improvements, which are the lacks and challenges, and where to direct more efforts and resources. In this sense, regarding accessibility and mobility, the need to promote measures addressed to progressively correct the different slopes, stairs and excessively steep ramps in the routes to the different spaces, as well as the improvement of lighting or paths, specially stand out. On the other hand, although it has been observed that in all the parking areas there are places reserved for the community of people with disabilities, survey respondents highlight the need to apply more control on the use of these places, and to punish their undue use. This estimation also concludes that there is a need to expand, internally, the right of access of these places to those people that cannot use them legally but face difficulties if they are unable to find parking space near their place of study or work.

Regarding the development of the activity, the community of respondents expresses that it perceives a certain lack of knowledge, support and understanding from academic staff (in the case of students) or from head staff (in the case of administration staff). In this sense, it is considered convenient to carry out awareness and educational actions related to disability for the teachers and administration staff that manage and direct teams, in order to guarantee the development of the activity without any kind of difficulty.

Finally, we also note the need to apply measures directed to announce the equality policies regarding disability, as well as to promote the introduction of this topic both in research and teaching.
Also, the measures presented in this second action plan not only collect these needs, but also incorporate all those actions that are already being carried in our community and that must be continued to develop or improve.

Another point of reference in the design of the measures has necessarily been the regulation of the area of disability, both in the state and autonomic level, as well as European and international. The constitution of the plan is regulated by: 1) the recognition of the right of the people with disabilities to education and work, to the access to higher education studies and to the free choice of employment and profession; 2) the prohibition of discrimination based on disability in the educational and labour area; 3) the obligatory nature of the measures the organizations need to apply in order to guarantee the equality of opportunities and conditions of the people with disabilities in the course of their activities.