Υour collaboration with volunteer students will contribute to the following:
- it will allow you to disengage the members of your family or your professional personal assistant for some time, during which you don’t need specialized personal care,
- it will encourage your fellow students to add you to their social circle,
- it will make you an equal, autonomous member of the academic community and facilitate the acquisition of social skills which are typical of persons at your age, especially in matters related to the academic life.
Volunteers can choose one or more among the following tasks:
- The familiarization of first-year SwD with the university premises and give them advice on matters regarding academic life.
- Tο accompany SwD within the university premises (e.g. lecture halls, seminar rooms, laboratories, canteen, restaurant, secretariat, library, public transportation stations surrounding the buildings) thus ensuring their access to the university premises.
- Tο enhance the participation of SwD in lectures, seminars, laboratory and clinical work by taking notes, supporting them in handling objects or relaying visual or audio information presented during classes.
- Tο facilitate the access of SwD to the educational material by converting it in digital accessible form or collecting their textbooks delivered through the EUDOXUS system from the distribution points.
- Tο support SwD with their study by taking part in study groups every week or helping them develop a study plan.
- Tο offer workshops for skills development (e.g. using software applications).
- Tο play an important role as links between SwD and the academic function.
- Whether your demand for voluntary support can be met or not, depends on the availability of active volunteers during each semester and their interest to undertake the tasks related to your support.
- Volunteers cannot undertake any task directly from you. You must express your demands to the Accessibility Support Voluntary Service (ASVS).The ASVS will assign them to suitable volunteers respectively based on objective criteria.
- Volunteer students offer support to SwD only in matters related to their academic studies. Voluntary support is offered only within the NKUA premises; the exact places are determined in collaboration with the ASVS.
- Volunteers must give an interview and receive preparatory training for the tasks they will undertake. However, one cannot expect that volunteers will have the attitude or the experience of a professional personal assistant or a person who supports you for years.
- Under no circumstances can volunteers undertake tasks that are potentially dangerous for them, for you or other members of the academic community (e.g. administering medicines, accompanying you in the toilet). Furthermore, volunteers do not provide psychological support services. In case you need any of the above mentioned types of support, you must provide for it independently from the voluntary support you will receive from your fellow students.
- Volunteers cannot support you in anything they consider unethical (e.g. using drugs, cheating in the examinations) or contradicts anything stated in the “Terms of participation in the voluntary support program”.
- Volunteers don’t undertake anything you can do yourself (e.g. communication with other members of the academic community).
- Your collaboration with volunteers is not expected to evolve into a personal relationship, such as close friendship. Volunteers are persons who will help you feel comfortable and make friends of your own.
- The NKUA does not depend only on volunteer students in order to achieve the inclusion of SwD. The ASVS collaborates with other services and departments of the NKUA, whose aim is to help SwD overcome the obstacles they face, without overlapping their duties. The tasks undertaken by volunteer students are complementary.
You can apply for voluntary support:
- at the beginning of the semester, in order to receive systematic support from volunteers throughout the semester,
- whenever a particular demand arises, you can apply for particular voluntary support,
- before the examination periods.
If you have numerous demands, you will probably be supported by a group of volunteers. Each volunteer will undertake specific tasks, which will be decided at the beginning of your collaboration.
The tasks undertaken by volunteers are not interchangeable without prior notification and consent of the ASVS.
The ASVS ideally assigns the support of SwD to volunteers studying in the same Department/Faculty, are at the same semester and attend the same courses; that is to ensure that volunteers will be familiar with your field of study and your schedules will coincide.
However, if that is not possible, SwD may be supported by older students of their Department/Faculty or even by volunteer students from other departments/faculties, if they express such interest.
The Accessibility Unit shares your contact details and the data mentioned in the diagnosis certificate you have submitted with the Student’s Activity and Participation Restrictions’ Registration Form (ReF) with the volunteers you are going to collaborate with. Volunteers are committed to treat your personal data in whatever way you wish. You will state your preferences regarding the disclosure of your personal data in the Acceptance Statement of the Terms of participation in the voluntary support program; for example you can have your personal data treated with discretion and prevent their disclosure to your fellow students and mutual friends.
If you do not agree with the disclosure of your personal data to volunteers even under these conditions, you can apply for types of support that do not involve personal contact between volunteers and SwD. These types of support can become totally anonymous thanks to the intervening role of the ASVS. You won’t have personal contact with the volunteer(s) supporting you and they won’t know the SwD they are supporting personally. Volunteers will only receive knowledge of your activity limitations and participation restrictions, whereas your personal data will be withheld.
The ASVS depends on the contribution of students who wish to spend some of their time offering voluntary support to their fellow SwD undertaking specific tasks, which could improve the access of SwD to the academic function. They choose to undertake tasks, in which they think they can be proven really useful.
Some semesters, however, active volunteers or do not respond to every task.
In any case, if you believe that you can benefit from human multidimensional support by volunteer students, don’t hesitate to apply to the ASVS every semester for voluntary support. Each new application results in a new targeted search for new volunteers.
You can receive voluntary support as long as you are an active student, i.e. you attend classes regularly (either in person or remotely), you participate in laboratory or clinical work, you submit assignments, you study and take exams.
In order to join the voluntary support program you must:
- have submitted the Student’s Activity and Participation Restrictions’ Registration Form (ReF),
- have submitted to the Accessibility Unit a recent thorough diagnosis certificate issued by an official/state entity or healthcare provider. The diagnosed disability/severe disease/other condition must justify the services you are applying for. It must also certify that you do not suffer from any psychological disorder which could result in potentially dangerous behavior for the physical integrity of yourself as well as of others, such as suicidal tendencies, use of substances, uncontrollable temper tantrums, impulsivity etc. (Instead of a formal certificate you can submit a signed Official Statement stating that you do not suffer from any psychological disorder; this is required only in case you are applying for voluntary support that involves personal contact with volunteers),
- have participated at least once in an introductory meeting with a staff member of the ASVS,
- have met at least once with the Counseling Professor of your Department/Faculty in order to confer with him/her about the limitations and restrictions you face when you attend classes, study and sit for an exam; you should have reached an agreement regarding the accommodations to be applied. You should inform the Counseling Professor about the classes you are going to attend every semester.
- have understood and accepted the rules and procedures followed by the Accessibility Unit and have signed the Acceptance Statement of the Terms of participation in the voluntary support program. You must send feedback to the ASVS systematically (cf. Collaboration Journal) and fill in the Evaluations Form at the end of every semester.
As soon as your class schedule has been announced and you have decided which classes you are going to take, write an email to email@example.com stating your demands including the following details for each one of them:
- Type of support you wish to receive (e.g. notes taking, converting notes in accessible form)
- Time and duration of the support
- Title of the class (if there are more than one groups of the same class, mention which group),
- Instructor’s name
- Exact place of the support
- Other details
In case you wish to receive particular support, you can apply by sending an email with the same details, whenever such a demand arises.
If it’s your first time applying for voluntary support, your collaboration with the volunteer(s) may begin within a period of one month.
If it’s not the first time you apply for voluntary support, your collaboration with the volunteer(s) may begin within a period of two weeks.
- You will receive an email from the ASVS confirming that your demands have been received. Maybe, there will be further questions.
- The ASVS will notify active volunteers about your demands, so that they can express their interest to undertake any of them.
- The ASVS will assign each of your demands to the most suitable volunteer and provide him/her fast-track preparatory training according to the tasks he/she is going to undertake.
- A staff member of the Accessibility Unit will inform you about the fact that your support has been assigned to a certain volunteer or a group of volunteers and arrange a meeting.
- The first meeting will take place in your Department/Faculty. The conditions of participation in the voluntary support program will be mentioned in detail and the tasks undertaken by each volunteer will be specified during that meeting. After that, you will sign the Voluntary Support Agreement, which defines the framework of your collaboration.
- In case no active volunteer responds to (any of) your demands, the ASVS will seek new volunteers. A search for new volunteers is carried out in the following ways: either there will be an announcement by the secretariat of your Department/Faculty calling your fellow students to join the voluntary support program or the instructors of the classes you attend will upload an announcement in eclass. In either case your name and contact details won’t be disclosed; only the tasks that are to be undertaken by volunteers and the activity limitations and participation restrictions you face will be mentioned in these announcements. Should new volunteers be found through this procedure, your support will be assigned to them (see steps 4, 5 above).
- During your collaboration with volunteers, you will give feedback to the ASVS every week in whatever form suits you best (cf. Collaboration Journal). If any problem arises, the ASVS will seek a solution.
- At the end of the semester you will fill in some brief evaluation forms in order to evaluate your experience.
- The commitment of volunteers lasts till the end of the semester.
- The same procedure is to be repeated for every new demand at the beginning of or during the semester on your own initiative.
You can have your EUDOXUS textbooks collected by volunteers. In order to apply for that, you must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; that email must contain the details mentioned in the summary table appearing at the last step of the textbooks declaration procedure in EUDOXUS system. (Example of the summary table). You must also send a filled and signed Authorization Statement for the collecting of your textbooks. As soon as your textbooks are collected, the Accessibility Unit will contact you in order to inform you about the next steps. Your textbooks will be collected within seven workdays. (If you have difficulty sending any of the above per email, please contact the ASVS).
First, you must inform the Counseling Professor of your Department/Faculty about the exams you are going to take and the accommodations you would have applied for. He/She will subsequently inform other faculty members for your intention to take the exam in their courses and for your wish to be supported by a volunteer during the exams. If other faculty members agree to the proposed accommodations, they will apply for volunteer escort or writing assistant at the Accessibility Unit. They will also confirm the exact day and time of the exam and provide an outline of a suitable volunteer for each exam. You will be informed by the faculty members about the accommodations agreed.
Warning: The timely notification of your exam schedule (at least seven days before the beginning of the examination period) is prerequisite for processing your request.