Chapter 13: Non-academic support and activities

13.1 Financial aids

13.1.1. Examples of financial aids for students with disabilities

To subsidize the purchase of assistive aids, paid auxiliary aids, and/or accessible transportation for course activities and other university-related activities, etc.

13.1.2. Examples of financial support for inclusion promotion projects initiated by university members

To subsidize university staff and/or students who initiate various projects to promote an inclusive campus, and the awareness of university members on the needs and abilities of people with disabilities.

13.2 Participation in university affairs and student societies

13.2.1. Introduction

Voices of students with disabilities have been chronically marginalized and under-represented in decision-making and consultation of university affairs. Below are some recommended practices of actualizing CRPD Article 21 Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information and Article 29 Participation in political and public life.

13.2.2. To receive information and express voices

  • Ensure equal opportunity to access any documents of university and student affairs as well as event promotional materials.
  • Ensure the accessibility of any information dissemination, channels for expressing voices; such as online platform, writing letters, phone call, face-to-face meetings.
  • Ensure accessible office, event venues, event programme content.

13.2.3. To vote and to be elected

  • Ensure the right to vote and the right to be elected of students with disabilities.
  • Ensure the accessibility of the voting arrangement, from information dissemination, polling station, polling procedure, counting procedure, to the announcement of election results
    • For example, nowadays it is still common for student societies to use ballot papers instead of electronic voting. However, without Braille and/or accessible printing style (such as colour contrast and font size), these ballot papers may not be accessible for some students with visual impairment.
    • It may also be difficult for some students with mobility disability to write.

13.2.4. To be student representatives

  • Be elected as student representatives to University Committees, Student Union and societies, and student advocacy groups
    • to proactively collect voices from fellow students with disabilities regarding different university and student affairs;
    • to express and engage the voices of fellow students with disability at the Committee meetings directly, and/or through written letters and reports to the Committees.
  • Be the steering committee and/or executive committee members of the “Student Alliance for Inclusion” (and/or similar bodies).
    • to establish the presence of students with disabilities in the university;
    • to perform accessibility advocacy and outreach on behalf of students with disabilities;
    • to address systemic inequality in all areas of the campus life and to convey feedback from the students with disabilities to the university for accessibility service improvement; and
    • to provides valuable peer support of the learning of students with disabilities.

13.2.5. To be student members

  • Students who do not want to be student representatives are equally entitled to the right.
  • Ensure equal access to activities organized by University units and societies under Student Union.
  • Ensure accessibility of the channels for receiving updates about university and student affairs as well as for expressing their voices.
  • Ensure equal access to receiving welfare from Student Union and societies under Student Union.

13.2.6. References

13.3 Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport

13.3.1. Essential practices

  • Accessible design of the arts, cultural, and sports venues on campus such as
    • galleries
    • music halls
    • museums
    • sports facilities and amenities such as gymnasium, swimming pool
  • Accessible display of shows, activities, booking schedule at the venues, such as font size and accessible height of the display monitors and posters
  • Accessible box office counters, such as appropriate height of the counter and the installation of induction loop system
  • Accessible self-service kiosks with appropriate height, accessible electronic display, and read-aloud function
  • Accessible seating arrangement
  • Inclusive ticketing arrangement
    • Provision of multiple channels for the reservation of accessible seat tickets.
    • Avoid naming the “accessible seat tickets” and/or “wheelchair user tickets” as “wheelchair tickets”. A “wheelchair” does not sufficiently represent the “user of wheelchair user”.
    • Avoid naming the “companion tickets” as “minder tickets” or “carer tickets”. Companions of people with disabilities are not necessarily their caregivers.
  • Accessible programme
    • Provision of audio description, sign language interpretation, and accessible captions
  • Be friendly to guide dogs and their users

13.3.2. Local resources and references

13.3.3. Recommended guidelines