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Services for SWDs at AAU and UV

Services for SWD's at AAU

Addis Ababa University Disability Center renamed Addis Ababa University Office of Special Needs Support is established in 2006. Currently, it is accountable to the Academic Vice President office being engaged in serving students with various impairments like hearing impairment, visual impairment, physical impairment and other impairments. It is run by one academic staff as an officer and another supportive staff as a coordinator, a secretary and one cleaner.  SNSO will soon employ a technical assistant for the audio-book recording studio. There also many volunteers assisting the center.


Realize the full inclusion of students with disability in the academic arena


  • Optimize students with disabilities potential by assisting them in academic, social, emotional, etc. competencies and supporting other disability specific needs
  • Enrich the academic performance and social adjustment of students with disability in the university
  • Enrich their educational experiences and achieve academic and ethical excellence throughout their career
  • Provide learning opportunities that could help students to develop specific skills and competencies


  • Create inclusive environment of higher education
  • Create inclusive education
  • Awareness rising
  • Promote disability rights
  • Expansion of adaptive technology
  • Support educational materials
  • Support prosthetic materials

Major Activities of the SNSO:

1. Educational material support

  • Braille paper, tape, cassette
  • Digital voice recorder, audio book
  • Recharge battery, slate & styles
  • Photocopy, printing

2. Human assistance

  • Exam reader and scriber
  • Volunteer reader
  • Volunteer recorder
  • Sign language interpreter
  • Wheelchair driver (if medical case)
  • Provide personal assistance

3. Counseling service

Counseling stressed, traumatized, etc. students with disabilities and other related counseling services

4. Technology service

  • Computer (jaws program installed), Internet, scanning, magnifier
  • Embosser, audiometry

5. Accessibility

  • Building ramps to the entrances of buildings and lounges
  • Making accessibility audit
  • Reshape pathways, roads …
  • Modify up & down stairs, lifts
  • Construct new ramps, lifts and pathways
  • Inclusive environment for all
  • Follow up accessibility of new buildings

6. Awareness creation programs

  • Top level management of the University
  • Middle level management of the University
  • Lower level management of the University
  • Student level
  • University community level, etc.

7. Trainings

  • Capacity building of students with disability
  • Orientation and mobility training
  • Adaptive technology (IT)
  • English language
  • Braille skill
  • Assertiveness, life skill
  • Study skill
  • HIV/AIDS and reproductive health
  • Inclusive education strategy
  • Disability rights advocacy
  • Job hunting skill, etc.

8. Prosthetic material supports

Artificial prosthesis, brace, crutch, rubber tip, wheelchair, inner shoe, stick, kezera, white cane, hearing aid, etc.

9. Financial Support

  • Monthly pocket money
  • Annual payment for clothing
  • Payment for Examiners of the visually impaired students              
  • Sign language interpreter payment, etc.

10. Different researches on disability issues

11. Other activities

  • Celebrating international day of persons with disability
  • Celebrating international deaf week
  • Celebrating accessibility day
  • Celebrating international white cane day
  • Disability inclusive trip
  • Sport games, etc.

12. Partners

 Contact: Officer for Special Needs Support Center

Documentary AAU


Services for SWDs at UV

Logo "Student Point: Disability" of University of Vienna

At the University of Vienna, there are several services for students with disabilities (SWDs), some of which are introduced in the following.

The Team Accessible Studying ("Barrierefrei Studieren"), provides information about the organization of study life, such as financial support, exam accomodation or housing. It mediates between university staff, students and external organizations such as NGOs.
The team consists of Birgit Peham and two to three SWDs who also work exclusively on the topic.
> Link to website for SWDs (german only)
> Presentation about SWDs in Austria and the University of Vienna (pdf)
> Birgit Peham in this project

At the University Library, there are two staff members who are responsible for digitalizing books and notes for visually impaired or dyslectic students. They adapt those materials in order to make them fully accessible.
> Information on this service (german only)

The Student Advisory Board consists of SWDs, a member of the Austrian Students' Union and other university associates who are concerned with the accessibility of the University of Vienna for disabled students. The Board members evaluate existing measures for this student group and initiate new projects.
> More information on the Student Advisory Board (german only)

One of the first actions of the Board was to establish a website for lecturers, where those could find information about inclusive teaching.
In Dez 11 this website was promoted with a folder that was sent to all 7.000 lecturers of the University, also on behalf of the Board.
> http://barrierefreielehre.univie.ac.at (german only)
> Folder "Inclusive Teaching" (english and german)

In Sept 11 an infoclip about students with disabilities was introduced by the Board. It is shown to all student beginners of the University at the beginning of the semester. You can watch the film below, a fully accessible german version can be found on the website of the Disability Officer.
> German versions of infoclip
> English version of infoclip

The disability officer provides annual reports about activities of the University of Vienna concerning accessibility and inclusion.
> Annual report 2011 (pdf; german only)
> Annual report 2012 (pdf)

Infoclip for study beginners UV


financed by

Department of Education

University of Vienna
Sensengasse 3a
1090 Vienna

T: +43-1-4277-468 01
F: +43-1-4277-468 09
University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0