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University facilities not good enough, say students with handicap
The University of Copenhagen (U of C) is tough on students with a disability. This is according to a report by the National Union of Students in Denmark (DSF). The U of C is relatively tougher on disabled students than both the University of Southern Denmark in Odense and Aarhus University, the report shows.
The sociologists and political scientists at the Faculty of Social Sciences have some of the most beautiful surroundings at the U of C.
However, the old municipal hospital buildings which house the faculty, are not up to standard when it comes to ventilation, space, and access for students with physical disabilities, according to sociology student Peter Mikkelsen. On the Danish TV show Deadline, he told viewers that he had left the U of C to go to Roskilde University (RUC) because of the physical conditions in Copenhagen.
A recent report from The National Union of Students in Denmark (DSF) recommended that disabled students at all Danish universities, including the U of C, should be treated better.
»Denmark has been a front runner when it comes to employment opportunities for disabled people. We are hoping this report will improve conditions when it comes to education too,« the DSF report states.
There are 3000 students with disabilities in Denmark.
According to the report, both students and professors need to gain a greater understanding of the different types of disability – but without stigmatising or pitying students.
Students with non-visible disabilities generally experience greater difficulties at their university than students with a visible disability, the report shows.
When our Danish-language sister-newspaper Universitetsavisen interviewed two students with disabilities last year, they were mainly focussed on prejudices and the likelihood of unemployment, as opposed to any physical complications.
Meanwhile the problems are apparently greater at the Faculty of Social Sciences than at other faculties.
Despite the Faculty recently installing a DKK 1.1 million elevator, they are still building auditoriums that are difficult to access for those with a physical disability.
In the upcoming printed version of Universitetsavisen, wheelchair user Isabella Leandri-Hansen explains how she is forced to sit between rows at a new auditorium. The new lecture hall is like a labyrinth for someone unable to use the stairs, she says.