Accessibility in Studies

Accessibility refers to the ways in which physical, psychological and social environments are designed to ensure that everyone can interact with others on an equal basis despite their individual characteristics.

Accessibility is of relevance to every member of the student body and the University staff. It is of particular importance for those members of the University community who have an impairment of some kind or who are elderly or belong to a cultural or language minority. The desire to improve accessibility is based on the Non-Discrimination Act.

Efforts to improve accessibility support the removal of various obstacles to studying. In addition to the accessibility of facilities, attention is focused on removing what are called invisible obstacles. Such obstacles are, for instance, various special challenges in learning and barriers related to mental health issues. In order to support accessibility in studies, individual students are offered instruction and, in addition, training is provided for University staff members.  

 

Accessibility in the University’s Facilities

From the perspective of general mobility, the Linnanmaa campus area at the University of Oulu functions very well. Furthermore, accessibility has been enhanced by various special arrangements (see: maps):

  • The University of Oulu has marked invalid parking spaces in the parking areas at every one of its sites.
  • Three main entrances (marked P, R and C5) provide unobstructed access to  University facilities. 
  • The University reserves a wheelchair for visitors, who can borrow it from the University porters on request.
  • Larger lecture halls are equipped with induction loops.
  • There are several disabled toilets within the University’s facilities.
  • A number of lifts around the University provide ease of access between floors.

Creating Accessible PDF Files

PDF files are made accessible by using a screen review utility, a Braille embosser, so that disabled, visually impaired or hearing impaired persons are able to use PDF documents. In addition, accessibility functions make a document easier to operate and read when using, for instance, a computer or a mobile device. Follow this link for further information.

For further information, contact IT Administration Services: neuvonta(at)oulu.fi.

Support for the Advancement of Studies and Alternative Learning

For more information on studies and how they are being advanced, please contact guidance and counselling services: career(at)oulu.fi.

  • Study guidance is provided by study counsellors, instructor tutors, student tutors, peer tutors and Pro Gradu Thesis instructors. 
  • Guidance services relating to the advancement of studies for all students have been centralised in Learning Services’ Study and career guidance. Counsellors will also make appointments with students facing a problematic situation in their studies. One of the counsellors available is a student counselling psychologist.
  • Support for the mental health of students is provided in the first instance by FSHS’ mental health services.

Special Arrangements for Entrance Examinations

Questions regarding entrance exams should be directed to the faculty’s Chief Academic Officer. It is recommended that contact is made as early as possible in order to allow time to organise any special arrangements. Typical arrangements could include, for instance, additional time to complete an entrance exam or a quiet working space.  Arrangements are made on a case-by-case basis. The application form for special arrangements can be found on the Special Arrangements forms page.

Special Arrangements for Study Attainments and Examinations

In certain circumstances a student may apply for special arrangements for study attainments and evaluation. These circumstances may be, among others, hearing, visual or other sensory impairment, dyslexia, panic disorder, or Asperger’s syndrome. There are various kinds of special arrangement that can be made. These could include, for instance, additional time to complete an examination, an oral examination or a quiet working space or allowing the use of a computer.

Applications for special arrangements for studies shall be submitted personally by the applicant student to the University’s accessibility contact person, student counselling psychologist Pia Partanen. Appointments can be made by email opintopsykologi(at)oulu.fi or by phone +358 (0)294 48 3496.

The application form for special arrangements can be found on the Special Arrangements forms page. Application forms are also available at the Student Centre and faculty service points. The form is used when agreeing upon special arrangements with an instructor. The final estimation and definition of how special arrangements are implemented shall be made by the course instructor on the basis of the learning goals of the course. The instructor shall also take into account suggestions by the accessibility contact person.  

Accessibility and International Student Exchange

A Checklist for Institutes of Higher Education and Students Leaving for Student Exchange

ESOK (the network for accessible studies in institutes of higher education) and CIMO (the organisation for international mobility and cooperation) have compiled the following checklist for personnel who work in higher education institutes’ offices for international affairs, manage accessibility and disability issues and help students in need of accessibility support.  

A student preparing for an exchange period may require accessibility services, for instance, due to a disability, illness or a learning disability. The purpose of arrangements on an individual basis is to support the studies and everyday life – living, mobility, participation in leisure activity opportunities, staying well and general wellbeing – of students during their student exchange period.  The need for support varies between students, as do the solutions to their situations. It is a good idea to start seeking information and making arrangements for support as early as possible. A student preparing for an exchange period is in a key position to voice their needs regarding accessibility and any arrangements related to it.

Checklist for exchange

Links

Instructions and Regulations

Accessibility Work in Finland

Organisations

Last updated: 6/6/2016