On the 10th of February 2016 ESN Joensuu held an introduction meeting to MapAbility and MappED! What is that? A lot of participants had the same question, but it was answered very quickly! It is a project that aims to draw attention and collect information about the accessibility of the higher education institutions. Why is that necessary? At the meeting we had a discussion about going abroad for study purposes and most of us remembered how scary it was leaving the familiar environment and basically taking a massive leap into the unknown. Azra, a member of ESN Joensuu who also is the current ExchangeAbility Coordinator in this section, asked everyone to imagine how much scarier it is to take the same leap if one has a disability. Now this is the reason why MappED was launched!
By filling out a questionnaire that was provided to all the participants, first we will check the facility accessibility of the University of Eastern Finland and the Karelia University of Applied Sciences, then report back to Azra, who will pass this information along to the International level of ESN. THEN, and this is the most exciting part, this information that WE collected will be added to an interactive map that shows the level of accessibility of several dozens of institutions all around Europe and even the USA. On this map everyone can check out the accessibility of the institutions they have in mind beforehand, this way, hopefully, making them feel more comfortable about travelling and studying abroad.
Most of the teams will start Mapping the mentioned facilities starting next week (week 8) already and everyone, myself included, is super excited and dedicated to be part and help contributing to such an amazing cause! First the university and college, then the city of Joensuu and then, as someone pointed out excitingly during the meeting, THE WORLD!
If you want to take part in this yourself or just want to get more information, contact Azra Tayebi via her email email@example.com
Text by Lina Munčytė