Details of International conference SIHO 2019

Enhancing student experience: innovative support tools for students with disabilities

Students with disabilities have different needs, requiring a tailor-made and flexible approach. SIHO, the Support Centre for Inclusive Higher Education, responds to student needs by developing support tools that enhance student experience in an accessible way. At this year’s conference, together with international organisations, SIHO will be showcasing innovative tools that assist students with disabilities to feel connected, resourceful and competent to participate in higher education and international mobility programs. 

Roadmap

The transition from high school to higher education constitutes a precarious life stage for students with autism spectrum disorder. Students with autism experience doubts concerning disclosure and often face difficulties managing the competing social and academic demands of higher education, achieving appropriate time management and self-advocacy skills and regulating emotions. 

Roadmap is an on demand and interactive personalized online support system in which students with autism can easily access reminders, notes and customizable guidelines with coping strategies on topics related to life and learning as a student in higher education. A handy logbook in which energy and stress levels, and daily experiences can easily be recorded, and a well-arranged planning agenda, fully support students to organise and monitor their learning and student activities. Roadmap can be used individually or in combination with supervision. Students can map their own support team and can easily contact their student counselor when and where it’s needed. The personalisability of the tool ensures that the content offered can be fully tailored to the unique needs of each student. 

From 2019-2020, the online tool Roadmap will be available for all students with autism spectrum disorder studying at Flemish Universities and Universities for Applied Sciences and Arts. 

Roadmap is an initiative of SIHO in collaboration with Ghent University, the King Baudoin Foundation and the Academic Collaborative Centre for Autism.

Book-a-Book

Digital textbooks can be a necessity for students with a disability. Through the Book-a-Book application, the Support Centre for Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO), makes digital versions of textbooks easily available for students with disabilities studying in Flanders (Belgium).

A transparent website, with a well-arranged catalogue of the already available books and a simple form to request new books, makes it possible to easily meet the needs of all students with disabilities from Flemish Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts. In order to meet the needs of incoming international students with disabilities, the application will also be available in English. 

Book-a-Book is an initiative of SIHO in collaboration with the Flemish Governement, KU Leuven Libraries Central Services and LIBIS, a service of the KU Leuven with more than forty years of experience in offering reliable, flexible and – at the same time – innovative solutions for libraries, archives and educational, research, heritage and public institutions. To deliver a good service, SIHO established sustainable collaborations with Flemish and international publishers.

Inclusivemobility.eu

Students with disabilities are underrepresented in mobility programmes. During the EPFIME-project an international consortium and experts will develop an online platform called inclusivemobility.eu where everything is to be found about Inclusive Mobility for national authorities, practitioners, and students with disabilities. Connected to existing MappED! platform, national authorities will be able to register their information on regulations, policies, and support services. The outcomes of this project will stimulate a better and in-depth collaboration of the different stakeholders and ensure/increase the quality and transferability of support services among European countries. In the long-term, the project will allow for an increase of students with disabilities participating in international exchange programmes.