President Ilkka Niemelä confirmed the Aalto University Accessibility Implementation Plan for 2022–2024 on 1st February, 2022. The plan is based on the Aalto University strategy and supports well-being work and the work of the Aalto University Equality Committee. The implementation plan is attached as an appendix to the Aalto University Equality Plan. This page is for monitoring the implementation.
Let´s go equal!
This page provides a collection of methods and ways to increase collaboration and communication to support each other in learning accessible practices for daily work.
Aalto University strives towards being an accessible, safe and healthy university where research, teaching and services are accessible for all. Recognising and correcting barriers is an on-going process requiring everyone’s input. In accordance with the implementation plan for accessibility the accessibility work of the university is handled in a decentralised manner as follows:
- At university level, we provide the basic services set forth in the university strategy and give advice to six schools, which decide the services of their units independently.
- In addition, we also safeguard possibilities for creative work and interaction and for the development of university activities.
- Safe, healthy and accessible operation environments are designed, renovated and constructed on the Otaniemi campus to serve the entire Aalto community.
- The six schools develop and support the accessible operating culture as defined in the strategy by following up on the progress of its implementation.
- At the levels of departments, degree programmes and units, equal opportunities to participate in studying, research and teaching are ensured.
- Accessibility is developed proactively rather than reactively only after problems have arisen in the process.
- Each member of the community has the right to report any barriers identified and suggest a change in the operating culture.
- Equality is promoted continuously in all operations
- Open discussion strengthens positive attitudes and enhances expertise, which helps us solve everyday challenges.
- We follow the principles of sustainable development, meaning that accessibility is in line with research knowledge and with the tacit knowledge of the community and also justifiable in the different assessments of our operations.
Training, advice and studying on accessible operations all efficiently has been decentralised to different units. Please contact the Learning Services of your school if you would like to receive additional information or to participate in the accessibility work in practice. Both LES and ITS service desks of each school will guide, instruct and advise in accessibility matters in more detail.
Accessibility Implementation Plan
The three sections of the implementation plan describe concrete measures to put the plan in practice cost-effectively at schools and units to realize inclusion.
Equality, diversity, inclusion and code of conduct
There's no place for racism in the scientific community says the management of Aalto University in its statement. As a university, Aalto is working hard to develop an open and diverse community.
We aim to be a diverse and inclusive community where all students, faculty, staff and stakeholders feel a sense of belonging and can fulfill their professional, educational and social aspirations fully.
The Aalto University Code of Conduct is one way of putting our values and way of working — the foundation of our community culture — into practice
Maria Clavert, Professor of Practice in Technology Education, encourages young people who want to change the world to study technology, as it can enable real change.
Katja Toropainen, the founder of Inklusiiv and graduate student of the School, also makes a call for more discussion and sharing of best practices about diversity in organizations.
Practical tips for fostering diversity and inclusion.
The Code of Conduct is one way of putting our values and way of working - the foundation of our community culture - into practice.
The Accessible Aalto makes it possible for people of all abilities to be a part of our community every day. Aalto goes Accessible also in events and parties!
Enabling barrier-free Aalto campus
Aalto University Campus & Real Estate (ACRE) maintains, develops and rents out Aalto University facilities in Otaniemi and Töölö. We also build new concepts and shared facilities for parties outside the university, thus turning Otaniemi into a unique partnership centre and the most inspiring campus in the world.
Here you will also find restaurants, the map, the Aalto Space mobile app, access control - all practical information on one page! You can also visit the campus virtually.
In need of inspiration for accessibility and diversity work? Check out our checklist for museums (external link)
Accessibility and diversity checklist for exhibitions in English. Translated in cooperation with The Finnish National Committee of ICOM.
Assistive technology and W3C standards - important parts of enabling environment
Accessibility and students
At Aalto University, all students can focus on their studies with the highest degree of equality possible. For individual reasons, students can receive an extension to an examination period or use aids in their studies, for example. Such individual solutions are agreed upon, during a confidential meeting, with the school’s student affairs planning officer or course teacher. Advice on accessibility matters can also be requested from the university’s accessibility specialist, study psychologist, or tutor.
Accessibility and accessibility of studies are laid down in Section 24 of the Aalto University General Regulations on Teaching and Studying:
Section 24 Accessibility of studies
- Should the student, due to an impairment restricting his/her ability to study or other health condition, be unable to complete courses as provided in the curriculum or on the course, the school is obligated to take reasonable measures to organise an alternative mode of completing the study attainment. Such students are required to demonstrate the same level of knowledge and skills as the other students.
Further provisions on the accessibility of studies shall be given by the Aalto University Academic Affairs Committee.
Aalto University guides and instructions for studying
Student Guide provides information on studying at Aalto University.
The Starting Point of Wellbeing offers students easy access to counselling and advice on matters of well-being and study ability. The services available to you include drop-in (no reservation) advising/counselling sessions, peer support groups, and online materials. You can also make an appointment to receive individual counselling.
Aalto’s study and career counselling psychologists offer online and on-campus individual counselling to Aalto students. You can drop in at the Starting Point of Wellbeing for individual counselling without an appointment.
Each Aalto student has a right to receive reasonable individual study arrangements for medical reasons. A medical reason may be dyslexia, a sensory impairment, mental health condition or learning difficulty. Individual study arrangements should not be seen as a reason to stop aiming for the set learning outcomes. Instead, they are a way of supporting the student in attaining the learning outcomes.
Examples of individual study arrangements include additional time for examinations (1 hour at Aalto), a private space or computer for examinations, or adjusted schedules.
Support for higher education offered by other operators
Personal and individual characteristics such as disability, illness or learning difficulties do not prevent participation in Aalto University's various activities. Accessibility support can be requested from various operators to facilitate participation.
The allowance aims at supporting persons aged 16 years or over who have a disability or chronic illness in their daily lives, work or studies. The need and the amount of disability allowance is always assessed on an individual basis.
Our core tasks are to develop education and training, early childhood education and lifelong learning and to promote internationalisation in Finland.
On the website Maailmalle.net you will find information about studies, work placements, volunteer work and youth exchanges abroad in Finnish and Swedish.
An injury, illness or a learning difficulty does not need to stop you from participating in the different opportunities offered by the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI). You can apply for an accessibility grant from us to help you participate.
Equality.fi is a data base maintained by the Ministry of Justice and it contains information and tools for persons and organisations interested in promotion of equality and non-discrimination.
Theses, conference publications, articles and reports in the Aaltodoc publication archive. Search with the keywords 'accessibility', 'disability' or 'inclusion', for example.
Aaltodoc publication archive consists of full text materials produced in the university, such as theses, journal articles, conference publications and research materials produced by the schools of Aalto University.
Accessible Aalto Network (AccaNet)
Accessible Aalto Network (AccANet) is for collaboration and knowledge building to improve our main processes and quality at Aalto University.
Accessible Aalto Network (AccANet) is for collaboration and knowledge building to improve our main processes and quality at Aalto University. AccANet members are volunteers who have agreed with their directors to promote accessibility in schools and units. Network members serve as human nodes for different kinds of accessibility issues met in our daily activities. In addition, AccaNet updates the tri-annual Aalto University implementation plan for accessibility with the help of their peers.
The home of the Accessible Aalto space in Aalto Wiki to develop the accessibility implementation based on strategy for Aalto University.
Annual Aalto goes Accessible symposiums are for learning, sharing and innovating best practices to promote equality and diversity at Aalto University.
On these page you will find information and interesting references to improve wellbeing at Aalto University!
The Online Handbook on Disability Services in Finland supports social workers in their work with persons with disabilities.
Further information about accessibility
The proposal to increase student mobility (In Finnish). Professor, President Tuula Teeri from the Royal Swedish Academy of Technical Sciences has made a presentation on the instructions of the Ministry of Education and Culture on measures to increase the mobility of pupils and students also in higher education. Increasing student mobility requires national coordination to share good practices and strengthening support services and funding for internationalization.Jokaiselle mahdollisuus kansainvälistymiseen (PDF)
Understood through all its dimensions - ecological, social, economic and cultural - we are committed to carrying out our activities in a sustainable manner.
At Aalto, we create solutions that enable well-being within the planetary boundaries. With us, you get the opportunity to learn, research and do meaningful things in a unique environment: we combine the expertise in science, art, technology and economy to develop creative solutions to the world’s major challenges, such as the climate crisis. We are a community of thousands of students, researchers and experts with passion and expertise for both system-level solutions and the rapidly implemented new innovations.