Volunteers can choose one or more among the following tasks:
- They undertake the familiarization of first-year students with the university premises and give them advice on matters regarding academic life.
- They 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.
- They 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.
- They 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.
- They support SwD with their study by taking part in study groups every week or helping them develop a study plan.
- They offer workshops for skills development (e.g. using software applications).
- They play an important role as links between SwD and the academic function.
- Volunteers cannot undertake the support of SwD on their own initiative. The Accessibility Support Voluntary Service (ASVS) assigns the support of SwD to suitable volunteers 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 and the exact places are determined in collaboration with the ASVS.
- Students wishing to become volunteers must give an interview; they are offered preparatory training for the tasks they are going to undertake.
- Under no circumstances can volunteers undertake tasks that are potentially dangerous for them, for the SwD or other members of the academic community (e.g. administering medicines, accompanying SwD in the toilet). Furthermore, volunteers do not provide psychological support services.
- Volunteers cannot support SwD 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 SwD can do themselves (e.g. communication with other members of the academic community).
- The collaboration between volunteers and SwD is not expected to evolve into a personal relationship, such as close friendship. Volunteers are persons who help SwD feel comfortable and make friends of their own.
- Volunteers communicate directly with the SwD. If the presence of a member of the SwD’s family in the university premises is inevitable, he/she can distance himself/herself during the collaboration between SwD and volunteers; for example, he/she could go for a coffee.
- 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.
In order to participate in the voluntary support program of the Accessibility Unit for the first time, you must do the following:
- take part in an introductory meeting,
- give a brief interview,
- submit a formal declaration stating 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 (e.g. suicidal tendencies, use of substances, uncontrollable temper tantrums, impulsivity),
- comply with the procedures of the Accessibility Unit of the NKUA and sign the “Acceptance Statement of the Terms of participation in the voluntary support program”.
Contact the Accessibility Unit per telephone 0030 210 7275130 or per e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No. The ASVS offers fast-track preparatory training to volunteers (either in person or remotely) in order to prepare them for the tasks they will undertake. Training sessions are held either in groups or individually and according to the volunteers’ availability. Volunteers are advised to take part every semester in the training sessions offered by the Accessibility Unit, if their schedule allows it.
The Accessibility Unit offers training in the following topics:
- disability, stereotypes and prejudices (experiential workshop, 2 hours)
- wheelchair users’ escort techniques (experiential workshop, 4 hours)
- guiding techniques for the visually impaired (experiential workshop, 4 hours)
- collaboration with students with loss of hearing (2 hours)
- collaboration with students with autism spectrum disorders (2 hours)
- collaboration with students with ADHD (2 hours)
- print-disability and educational material: accessible notes and textbooks (informatory session, 2 hours)
- recording built environment accessibility issues (4 hours)
The schedule of the training session will be announced at the Accessibility Unit’s website.
Registration is mandatory.
Attendance certificates will be available.
Your commitment as an active volunteer is for one semester. You can offer voluntary support to SwD every semester for as long as you are a student.
That depends on your schedule. For example, you can choose tasks related to the courses you attend or escort a SwD studying in the same Department/Faculty as you, so that voluntary support may be combined with your schedule and everyday routine.
Apart from that, you can spend from 20’ up to 15 hours per week for the support of SwD depending on your free-time.
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 the SwD’s field of study and their schedules will coincide. However, if that is not possible, SwD may be supported by older students of their department/faculty or even by students from other departments/faculties, if they express such interest. If you wish to support SwD studying in departments/faculties other than yours, your contribution can be useful. Do not hesitate to express your interest.
There are tasks that may fit you and you may be able to undertake. You should contact the ASVS in order to get information about the tasks you could possibly undertake.
At the beginning of each semester, you will fill in the Volunteer’s Form (VF), in which you will mention how many hours a week you would like to engage in the voluntary support program.
After that, you will be informed about the available tasks in each Department/Faculty. You can choose among them the tasks you could undertake.
The ASVS assesses the suitability of the volunteers who have expressed their interest for each task. Then, it will contact the chosen volunteer in order to provide more information regarding the tasks assigned to him/her and to confirm that he/she wishes to undertake it.
If you have followed the required steps, fill in the Volunteer’s Form (VF).
- You will receive a link to the file containing the available tasks in the current semester per e-mail. There you will be able to choose those you would like to undertake.
- The ASVS will contact you to provide you more information regarding the tasks you are going to undertake. If you consent to undertake them, a meeting with the SwD you will be supporting will be arranged.
- That first meeting will take place in the Department/Faculty of the SwD. The conditions of participation in the voluntary support program will be mentioned in detail during that meeting. In case the SwD will be supported by a group of volunteers, the tasks undertaken by each of them will be specified. After that, you will sign the Voluntary Support Agreement, which defines the framework of your collaboration.
- During your collaboration with the SwD you will send feedback to the ASVS every week (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 from your collaboration with the SwD.
- You must submit the VF every semester on your own initiative.
- If you do not wish to participate anymore in the voluntary support program, you will have to fill in the Volunteer’s Withdrawal Form.
Yes. The ASVS supervises the collaborations between volunteers and SwD in the following ways, in order to ensure that they are effective and pleasant for both parties:
- Every party involved in the voluntary support program must give feedback to the ASVS every week; this is to ensure that the collaborations progress within the agreed framework and that there are no problems (cf. Collaboration Journal).
- Volunteers have the opportunity to meet every week with a member of the Accessibility Unit’s staff, if they wish to share their experiences, concerns or indicate good practices.
The ASVS intervenes immediately, if any of the parties involved reports a problem.
- You must comply with the ASVS’s terms and conditions of participation.
- You must send feedback to the ASVS systematically (cf. Collaboration Journal)
- You must inform the ASVS in time, if you won’t be able to undertake tasks which have been assigned to you.
- You must fill in the evaluation forms at the end of the semester.
- You must fill in a questionnaire, in case you don’t wish to be an active volunteer any more.