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Open Campus with Focus on Inclusion

Action Week Inclusion at Campus St. Pölten

Open Campus with Focus on Inclusion

Within the framework of the European Day of Inclusion, the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences and the Bertha von Suttner Private University, in cooperation with the Büro für Diversität of the City of St. Pölten, organised an action week on the topic of inclusion for the first time.

Students and employees of the Campus St. Pölten as well as interested persons, especially people with different disability experiences, were invited to the event.

As part of the open campus, individual courses gave an insight and students presented their projects. In addition, a diverse, practical, critical, and creative programme invited visitors to participate and get informed.

Broad Offer of Workshops and Presentations

A wide range of workshops and presentations highlighted different topics and dimensions of inclusion, disabilities, working, and studying. Highlights included a sign language course for beginners, an inclusive theatre workshop, campus tours, and an open radio studio at Campus & City Radio 94.4. iLab students of the St. Pölten UAS presented their projects.

Workshops and presentations (in German) were devoted to the following topics, among others: “Not in the Dark: How Inclusion Works in Journalism”, “Inclusive Education: Opportunities through Austrian Sign Language and UAS Access for All”, and “Studying Despite/With Mental Illness – a Question of Inclusion?”.

Important Signal

“The action week puts the spotlight on inclusion. In addition to the exciting framework programme, courses gave a barrier-free insight for the first time. On the one hand, we wished to demonstrate how valuable it is when students with and without disabilities can learn together. On the other hand, we hoped that this event would contribute to welcoming more colleagues, students, and visitors with disabilities to the Campus St. Pölten in the future”, says Anna Steinberger, Gender and Diversity Officer at the St. Pölten UAS.

“The first Action Week Inclusion should not have been the last, this was the basic tenor of the participants of the final event of this first-time Action Week held on the European Day of Protest for Equality of People with Disabilities on 05/05/2023. For four days, different formats around the topics of inclusion, accessibility, disability, and education were used to sensitise, inspire, think aloud, talk, and sign and new networks were established and many new ideas developed. Particularly noteworthy is the successful and appreciative cooperation between the three organisers, the St. Pölten UAS, the Büro für Diversität, and Bertha von Suttner Private University. The fact that this socially highly relevant topic of the future is and remains part of everyday life at the Campus St. Pölten outside of the Action Week is ensured, among other things, by the study programmes on the topic of inclusion at the Bertha von Suttner Private University as well as the numerous projects in research and teaching at both universities located on campus”, says Oliver Koenig, professor and Academic Director for Inclusive Education and Inclusion Management.

“Since 2012, the team of the Büro für Diversität of the City of St. Pölten have been working for inclusion, meaning the equal participation of people with disabilities in all social processes. Our goal is for all people to be able to shape their everyday lives and leisure time together in public spaces”, says Martina Eigelsreiter, head of diversity at the City of St. Pölten.

“With the Action Week, we have set an example, not only to draw attention to a socially important issue, but also to enable an exchange between students, lecturers, and the population as an open campus”, says UAS Executive Director Johann Haag.

Diversity Day Programme

The Büro für Diversität of the City of St. Pölten and students of Social Work of the St. Pölten UAS, together with representatives of various institutions and associations, organised a Diversity Day, where the many facets of diversity and inclusion were displayed in the form of information booths, quizzes, mini-workshops, creative stations, and more.

Inclusive and Barrier-Free Event

Almost all presentations were given by experts with disabilities. All speakers presented their content as simply as possible. Many presentations of the extensive programme were interpreted into Austrian Sign Language. The event team organised personal assistants for the time of the event upon request.

The Action Week Inclusion was supported by Sparkasse Niederösterreich Mitte West and AK Niederösterreich.

Action Week Inclusion

02/05/23 to 05/05/2023, Campus St. Pölten