VU Amsterdam values fitting education as an important aspect of its academic mission. Therefore it assists students who need support because of their disabilities. In fact, the word ‘disability’ is used here as an umbrella term for a range of impairments such as physical handicaps or chronic illnesses, dyslexia and mental health conditions (Dutch Inspectorate of Education 2010).
If you have a disability and intend to enroll for a course, you may wonder what your possibilities are and who you should contact to find out more about enabling support. Here is an overview of the support and facilities that VU Amsterdam offers you.
- Educational facilities (e.g. personalized planning, mandatory presence)
- Examination facilities (e.g. extra time, letter enlargements)
- Binding Study Advice (BSA)
- (Potential) study delay as a result of a disability
- Financial arrangements (e.g. DUO, FOS)
- Surcharge for study delay
- (Temporary) deregistration
- (Priority) Accommodation
SCHIB (Student Contact Assistance and Information on Disabilities) publishes a digital brochure for students with disabilities (unfortunately in Dutch as yet). In it a range of topics is discussed, such as study support, finances, (de)registration and special facilities. It also lists some useful links. When you enroll for a course at study link (VU Amsterdam), the only thing you need to do is indicate the kind of disability you have. This information will be automatically fed into the student administrative system and SCHIB will then inform you on relevant topics in the area of your disability.
- Central facilities
- Study buddies
- Assistance for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Complaints and ideas
- Theme sessions
- Expert role
- Blackboard community (unfortunately in Dutch as yet)
- Newsletters (unfortunately in Dutch as yet)
When students complete their VUnet registration at the start of the first academic year, they can indicate that they suffer from dyslexia, a disability or a chronic illness and whether they require special facilities in order to be able to study. This data is recorded in the VU Amsterdam information system.
Students with a permanent disability may be granted access to these facilities for the entire duration of their degree programme. The study advisor can use this easy system to inform students about the status of their request for special facilities.
The information regarding a specific disability is strictly confidential. This means that only a limited number of VU Amsterdam employees have access to specific information regarding a disability. You can consult the regulations regarding students’ personal information (available in Dutch only).
The SCHIB video (available in Dutch only) explains what SCHIB can do for you. For more Dutch-language videos on study advice, please go to: www.vu.nl/succesvolstuderen.
Please also see the VU policy plan on disabilities (VUnet login required: unfortunately in Dutch as yet). This policy plan includes information on how course materials must comply with the requirements regarding ease of use, accessibility and other factors. This style guide (VUnet login required: unfortunately in Dutch as yet) contains tips and tricks that will help lecturers develop user-friendly course materials.