Universities should accommodate people with disabilities to promote inclusion


Determined to become astronomers, researchers or doctors, they ignore their disabilities and enter university. “I walk to class in my electric wheelchair, 20 minutes max for the furthest“, greets 27-year-old Pierrick Dubreuil, a third-year physics student. This is a hobbystars, planetsSuffering from Little’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, he joined his 33 m2 studio on the first floor of an adapted university residence, decorated with Marvel and Star Wars posters and figurines.

Everything is automated. Doors open automatically with my badge. Height-adjustable work surfaces, even for cooking, a shower cabin (…) I’m lucky to have a lot of space. It’s easier when you use Walker“, she told AFP, her eyes twinkling behind asymmetrical glasses with black and white checks. Its 250 furnished residences are managed by the Regional Center for University and School Affairs (Crous), where 197 other rooms, studios and apartments are adapted into different residences. there are either one-bedroom apartments and 20 automated apartments for the severely disabled.”We also work to support students through entertainment (…) theater workshops, evenings (…).“, explains Dominique Froment, general manager of Crous d’Occitanie.

Towards a standard of support for students with disabilities

The University of Toulouse has more than 100,000 students in various locations in the region, including 1,800 with disabilities. Their numbers are growing: the first generation to benefit from the provisions of the 2005 law on equal rights and opportunities from kindergarten has just entered university. As elsewhere in France, students can get make-up time for exams, a secretary to write tests, help with taking notes in class, headphones to reduce noise, etc. they can request. “I am one of those entitled to an isolated room because I have so many pups“Pierrick is joking. She also smiles Manon Ohayon, 18, a life sciences freshman at Paul Sabatier University.I thought that when I entered college, my pursuit of high school wouldn’t be extended, but it actually is.“.

Suffering from a disabilityinvisible“, emetophobia – fear of vomiting, cause of eating disorders, hospitalization and strict diet – he “the right to be recorded by other students“in the absence of”in compensation time” to make up for what was lost when he left the exam room if he felt bad. “And my teachers know“, he explains over lunch at the university restaurant Le Canal. There, crossing the line and “there are acoustical arrangements to prevent autistic students from being disturbed by noise (…), reserved seats at the back of the room, quieter“, adds director Frédéric Calmettes, whose staff is trained to help those at risk of not eating, instead of dealing with emotional attacks created by the crowd.

“Good things have been done, but we can go further”

If the devices are multiplied, it remains to make progress. According to a university survey, 64.4% of students with disabilities say they face difficulties due to their condition. Thus, if Pierric told himself “very useful with documentsIt remains “by the University’s dedicated social worker and disability referents”.things to change“. “When I asked for specific course notes or if there were other resources that could help me, there were absolutely none (…) Maybe there will be more courses in PDF or video form in the future.“, he quotes. Aubin Delaveau, 26, holds a master’s degree in applied mathematics and president of the autistic student union La Bulle!, abounds in the same direction: “There are still teachers who don’t know how to support us (…) They are not malicious, they just don’t know. Good things have been done, but more can be done to make the university more inclusive“.

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