DSW: Accessible online teaching

Inclusive study: need to catch up in barrier-free online teaching

  • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at universities: Online conference of the Information and Counseling Center for Studies and Disability (IBS) of Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW)
  • 200 participants from universities, ministries, student representatives, associations, student unions - also from Austria and Switzerland
  • DSW Secretary General Matthias Anbuhl: "Reasonable accommodation and accessibility are key to the participation of students with disabilities".
  • Anbuhl: "Some catching up to do in online teaching"

Berlin, 18 November 2021. How far has Germany come in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at university? Do people with disabilities have non-discriminatory and equal access to higher education, as standardized in the Convention? The Information and Counseling Center Study and Disability (IBS) of Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW) is hosting a two-day online conference on these questions.

According to the DSW, the need for information and exchange on these issues is great: More than 200 representatives from universities, ministries, student representatives, self-help associations and student unions are taking part - also from Austria and Switzerland.

Matthias Anbuhl, Secretary General of Deutsches Studentenwerk, explains: "There is still a long way to go before the goal of inclusive studies is achieved. Structural, communicative, organizational and didactic barriers still hinder equal opportunity studies. The removal of these barriers can only succeed in close cooperation between universities and student services, and for this both need the support of the federal and state governments."

"Accessibility and inclusion must also apply to online teaching in particular," Anbuhl demands. "The three digital pandemic semesters have brought about a massive digitization push in teaching, but because of the fast pace, accessibility could not always be sufficiently taken into account. This must now be made up for."

According to Deutsches Studentenwerk student survey "beeinträchtigt studieren 2" from 2016/20217 , 11% of students in Germany have an impairment relevant to their studies. This group of impaired students is very heterogeneous; only 4% have an impairment that is immediately recognizable.

More than half of the impaired students have mental illnesses. 20% have a chronic somatic disease, such as rheumatism, multiple sclerosis or epilepsy. 10% have a movement or sensory impairment, 4% have a partial performance disorder, such as dyslexia.

The Information and Counseling Center Study and Disability (IBS) of Deutsches Studentenwerk is the nationwide competence center on the topic of "Study and Disability". Information and advice, lobbying as well as further education and networking are the tasks of the IBS, which has been funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) since 1982. With its services, the IBS primarily addresses prospective students and students with disabilities, representatives and advisors as well as those active in higher education and disability policy in politics and administration.

The conference agenda online:


The press release online:


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