University of Gothenburg

University of Gothenburg, Sweden, hosted representatives of Croatian universities in the project's first site visit. The full program of the site visit is available by clicking on this link. Underneath is a brief summary of activities.

A four-day visit included presentations, lectures, a workshop, and visits to one of the university libraries and a city library. Members of the University of Gothenburg community informed us of national, institutional, and departmental level policies and practices for equalizing opportunities for students with disabilities in higher education. We heard representatives of academic faculty, administrative and support staff, and student unions. Each represented a different level, aspect, and viewpoint of academic life and support.

University library staff organized a practical presentation of national as well as institutional mechanisms for providing academic support and demonstrated some of the assistive technologies they employ (e.g. Easy Reader, Easy Converter, and Easy Writer). Gothenburg City Library organized a presentation of its facilities for children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities.

All of the activities were aligned with project objectives although of particular usefulness is the opportunity to learn about a different national and institutional model of support for students with disabilities in higher education. It promotes critical reflection and comparison of needs, resources, and cultural norms between Sweden and Croatia as we think about best practices that can be carried forth into services offered to students of Croatian universities.

Work Group I, charged with developing a university-level undergraduate course on providing peer-support for students with disabilities, held its second meeting in conjunction with the site visit. During their meeting members of Work Group I discussed topics proposed for the course, consolidated or expanded proposed topics as necessary, worked out numbers of lectures, seminars, and experiential activities in accordance to the course ECTS points. Furthermore, group members agreed on a plan of action for continued course growth, which includes submission of detailed topic outlines by June 18th and preparation for the 3rd Work Group I meeting hosted by the University of Dubrovnik at the end of June, 2010.

Members of the Croatian delegation wish to warmly acknowledge all members of University of Gothenburg who made this visit an excellent learning experience. We are particularly grateful to our host prof. Annika Dahlgren Sandberg from the Department of Psychology for all of her hard work and for giving us wonderful accessible accommodations in the Department. Others we would like to thank: prof. Anders Biel, Ms. Ulrika Ganning, Ms. Asa Lindgren, Ms. Christina Dackling, Ms. Catherine Gillo, Ms. Lena Borg-Melldahl, Ms. Malin Eriksson, Ms. Barbro Svenner, Ms. Ellen Aberg, Ms. Jelena Savic Dacken, Ms. Agneta Olsson, and staff of Gothenburg City Library.