Accessibility refers to a physical, mental and social environment where everyone, regardless of their personal characteristics, can act and interact equally with others. At the university, accessibility affects all students and staff members, but it is especially important to those members of the university community who have a disability, who are ageing, or who belong to a cultural or linguistic minority.
Considering accessibility regarding teaching and teaching arrangements benefits all students and staff. For some it is a necessity for studying. Accessibility regarding facilities, equipment and teaching arrangements must be considered when planning and implementing teaching.
The concept of accessibility covers:
- Studies, including Finnish entrance examinations, study guidance, teaching arrangements and practices, and exam practices
- The physical environment, such as premises, access routes, parking spaces, lighting, signs
- Accessible communications, such as web pages, other written materials and language
The University of Eastern Finland develops its services related to the accessibility of studies and teaching and to the university as a whole in the long term as part of the development of learning environments. We adhere to the national recommendations of the ‘Accessible university studies’ report. We are involved in national key projects that promote accessibility as part of the ‘Accessible university studies’ network.
The university has appointed a person in charge of coordinating accessibility as a whole, as well as campus-specific accessibility contact persons who will respond to accessibility-related queries as required and provide advice in general issues.
The people working with accessibility-related matters make up the accessibility network:
- Study-related accessibility matters as a whole are coordinated by Head of Student Services, Tuija Pasanen, Student Services. Individual study arrangements have different contact persons
- The contact person at the Joensuu campus is Head of Student Services and Admissions, Eija Widgrén-Sallinen, Student Services; and at the Kuopio campus, Head of Student Services, Tuija Pasanen, Student Services
In addition, accessibility network operators include people working in the faculties and dealing with the practical special arrangements related to entrance examinations and studies, educational psychologists at the university, student admission officials, and Facilities Management representatives. As required, other specialists and student representatives may also be called to the network meetings.
There is a portable induction loop system for students to borrow at the Joensuu and Kuopio campuses. The induction loop system can be borrowed at Oppari’s service desk (located in the campus library in Joensuu and in the Canthia building in Kuopio). Furthermore, there is a fixed induction loop system in the larger auditoriums at the Joensuu Campus (for example in auditoriums AU100 and AU206 in the Aurora building). Electric height adjustable desks can be found in the library (two desks, located closest to the staircase) and in Atrium (one desk).
A large part of the university’s facilities are accessible and can be used by people with different disabilities. The newer the building, the easier it has been to implement modern accessibility solutions and regulations. The campuses have parking areas for accessible parking, and accessibility has also been taken into consideration in the outdoors routes on campus, for example in structural solutions and winter-time maintenance. The main entrances of the buildings have accessibility ramps and, as a rule, the doors can be opened by pressing a door opening button. In the university buildings, coat racks with storage possibilities are available at accessible heights. Braille buttons are available in the elevators, and some elevators also have voice guidance. All buildings except for the Haltia building have elevators and accessible toilets that are indicated with signs. The largest lecture rooms have induction loops in them, and there are also portable loop systems that can borrowed. Baby care tables can be found in the accessible toilets.
Accessible entrances for buildings
There are several restaurants at the Joensuu and Kuopio campuses. All of these restaurants are practically accessible; however, there is a low metal doorstep by the door of the Carelia restaurant at the Joensuu Campus, which may pose difficulties for those using a wheelchair. The doors of the Carelia restaurant are kept shut due to fire safety reasons. In other campus restaurants, there are no doorsteps or closed doors, and there is a wheelchair lift in the restaurant in the Snellmania building at the Kuopio Campus.
If you need someone to help you, for example, to carry your tray, the restaurant staff will be happy to assist you. Should you have any special dietary restrictions, it is wise to contact the restaurant you intend to eat in beforehand.
Contact information and locations of the campus restaurants
Both the Joensuu and Kuopio campus have special exam facilities. See Special exam facilities and practices.
Facilities are at the disposal of the students who have the right to individual arrangements. Special exam facilities are equipped with two computers of which the other is a regular computer and the other for electronic examinations. In the facility one can submit an electronic examination, provide answers with a regular computer or conduct a paper examination. Upon request, computers can be equipped with special software or other aids, such as speech synthesizer or braille display.
Celia library (opens in a new tab) – national library for accessible literature and publishing
Practical booklets (Meeting the needs of Diverse Student Body in Higher Education) (opens in a new tab)