Aalto University's future is built upon a foundation of high-quality research, education, impact and shared values – responsibility, courage, and collaboration. The purpose of the university is to shape a sustainable future.
Aalto University Accessibility Implementation Plan 2022–2024
Accessibility, inclusion, diversity and equality in context
Rakennamme inklusiivista yhteisöä, jossa yhteisömme jäsenet tuntevat yhteenkuuluvuutta ja voivat täysipainoisesti elää työn tai opintojen arkea tasavertaisina.
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.
Developing accessibility is part of the university's equality, diversity and inclusion work
Aalto University's accessibility implementation plan includes accessibility guidelines, objectives and measures for the period 2022–2024. The plan is based on the obligations added to the Non-Discrimination Act (1325/2014), the Universities Act (558/2009) and the Polytechnic Act (932/2014) to promote accessibility in higher education. In addition, the implementation plan follows the objectives set out in the Ministry of Education and Culture's Plan “Towards more accessible higher education and higher education institutions”, which promotes accessibility, diversity and inclusion.
The accessibility development is part of Aalto's diversity and inclusion work, and this plan complements Aalto's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Plan.
Accessibility enablers at Aalto
The physical and digital accessibility of teaching and other academic activities, as well as of the Aalto campus and services, support the Aalto community, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to access the university’s knowledge, ideas and resources. Aalto University's accessibility work is coordinated by a working group established in 2021. Aalto University’s Accessibility coordination group was formed to improve coordination across the domains. The coordination group also monitors the development of national and EU legislation and ensures that changes are taken into account in Aalto University's operations.
In addition, Aalto University's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee, Accessibility Community Network (AccANet) and Learning Services teams plan and develop accessibility training. Human Resource Services and Learning Services in cooperation with Leadership Support Services map expertise in different areas of accessibility at Aalto University (e.g. acoustics, usability, visual design, typography, service design) to find suitable trainers within our university community.
Accessibility (Aalto.fi) On this page you will find information on accessibility at Aalto University and the members of the Accessibility Coordination Group and the AccANet community network.
Accessibility and AccANet
On this page you will find information on accessibility at Aalto University and the members of the Accessibility Coordination Group and the AccANet community network.
Welcome to Aalto! Accessibility and diversity are the guiding principles of equality at Aalto University. Accessibility refers to convenience of use and access to education, research and related support services regardless of the diverse qualities of individuals.
Accessibility of learning and teaching
Responsible parties: Learning Services (LES) and Human Resource Services (HRS)
Accessibility and equality are an integrated part of the work and competence development of teachers and staff. Learning Services and Human Resource Services advise, educate and encourage members of the university community to recognise barriers to studying and working. Our ways of learning and working may need to adapt to different learning and teaching methods, cultures and attitudes, in addition to mitigating the physical and visible barriers.
Learning Services aims to support and train teachers to understand the benefits of different teaching and learning practices and for being able to guide students to use the services they need.
Learning Services teams take accessibility into account as a factor that promotes well-being and study ability.
Learning Services Aalto University's Learning Services are responsible for all services that enable the smooth progress of studies at the university.
Personal study arrangements Every Aalto student has the right to receive reasonable personal study arrangements based on a doctor's or expert statement.
Academic guidance at Aalto University Academic guidance is part of the study guidance system, which covers the student's entire study lifecycle.
Support for applicants, students and teachers
Aalto University has defined a common process for making personal study arrangements, created a statement template, and formulated standard practice for extending exam time (by one hour). Learning Services maintains a toolbox for making individual study arrangements in diverse situations. Materials have been made to support students, teachers and Learning Services staff to face and support students who have a need for personal arrangements.
Aalto University has a multiprofessional working group that ensures a common process for making personal study arrangements and the related communications and cooperation between the responsible parties.
Student support, guidance and wellbeing Aalto's diverse and multicultural community supports the success and wellbeing of its students. Wellbeing in studies is Aalto's strategic goal, and study well-being surveys show that students who are feeling well also study and perform well. We support wellbeing in many ways through high-quality learning support services and continual teaching development.
Starting Point of Wellbeing The Starting Point of Wellbeing is a low-threshold wellness service for students.
Support for applicants
Individual accommodations required by applicants are arranged for student admissions and entrance examinations.
Support for non-degree students
Support is also offered to non-degree students, where applicable.
Open University students and other non-degree students are informed of the support services available to them and of the possibility for personal study arrangements.
Support for teachers
Learning Services provide information, support and pedagogical training for personal study arrangements.
Support for Aalto degree students
- Each student makes a personal study plan (bachelor and master's student HOPS and doctoral student DPSP). The plan can be updated and approved as needed.
- Students have the right to see an academic instructor once a year.
- Each student will be appointed a personal success team with an academic instructorand a representative of Learning Services (LES).
- Students have the opportunity to have personal guidance meetings with the study planner or coordinator when needed. The meetings may relate to the planning of exchange studies, credits for studies, completion of studies at a slower pace or other study matters.
- The wellbeing of students is systematically reviewed with the AllWell? survey
- Personal study arrangements during studies are granted by schools based on the student’s presentation of an expert statement.
- TheStarting Point of Wellbeing provides low-threshold advice and service guidance without appointment. The service providers are the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS), university chaplains, study psychologists, guidance counsellors, Aalto University Student Union (AYY) and UniSport.
- Study and career guidance psychologist services.
Support provided by external operators
Examples of support available to students from outside the university:
- Personal assistance provided to a person with severe disabilities fulfiling the conditions of the amended Act on Disability Services and Assistance (380/1987) / act on disability services (380/1987)
- Course books can be borrowed free of charge from Celia as audiobooks.
- Supports equality and inclusion of people with disabilities and long-term illnesses by awarding grants for education, employment and an active life.
- Provides timely and customer-oriented rehabilitation services that support work, study and functional capacity.
Provided by Kela
- Assistive devices and software
- Interpreter service (Interpretation of speech, writing, description, and sign language)
Guide and assistance dogs
Developing student marketing
Accessibility integrated in orientation and onboarding
|LES, HRS, AYY, higher education institutions
Raising awareness about personal study arrangements
|LES, study programmes and higher education institutions
Developing competence on accessibility
Development of operating models for personal study arrangements
|Accessibility multiprofessional working group and academic leadership
Human Resource Services support your work and managerial duties at Aalto. We are available to help at every stage of the employment relationship. On this page you can find links to employment related information and contact information of the HR Services.
Accessibility of Infrastructure
Accessibility in learning, research and workspaces
Accessibility will be taken into account when improving buildings by renovation or when building new premises. in accordance with the Land Use and Building Act (132/1999). In the case of changes in the purpose or use of a building, the licensed repair work, extension or modification of the building will take into account the character of the building, the size of the working area and the quality of the architecture.
Improvements in accessibility focus routes leading into buildings, building entrances, doors, internal passageways, common indoor spaces, spaces between floors, and toilets, washrooms, hygiene facilities and meeting rooms. Accessibility of the built environment is also included in the Aalto University strategy. The university is committed to making solutions for sustainability, and accessibility is included in Aalto University's values, such as responsibility and collaboration.
In campus development, Aalto University Campus & Real Estate is mapping potential obstacles in the built environment and in the outdoor areas, planning a more accessible environment for all, and taking responsibility for implementing the plans. The goal is for all users to feel that the campus is a safe work and study environment.
ACRE Aalto University Campus & Real Estate.
Service map of the Helsinki Metropolitan AreaUse the service map to search for services, locations, or addresses.
Aalto University Infrastructure Principles
- Good acoustics: This serves everyone — especially hearing or visually impaired persons and persons who do not speak Finnish.
- The soundproofing of teaching, meeting, dining and office spaces is designed and implemented taking into account the purpose of the space in order to achieve a sufficiently good sound environment.
- Large meeting and teaching facilities use audio transmission systems that make listening easier. Smaller spaces are equipped with a mobile induction loop or similar system. All teaching facilities with voice reproduction shall have an induction loop or equivalent sound transmission system.
- The colour scheme and the material world of the buildings support efficient and safe indoor navigation by diverse users.
- Sufficiently large and clear fonts, consistent with the ACRE signage manual, are used in the signs, and general information is formatted for prompt perception of the layout of spaces and operations.
- Service design is included in the planning processes as needed.
- Reserving enough storage space for student and staff equipment and work materials so that the defined access ways and emergency exit routes are barrier-free at all times.
- Ramps, if they fit in naturally with other planning, are used in addition to lifts in elevation differences between building levels.
- Personal assistants, devices, transportation and other services are smoothly combined with a building’s own functions and resources (speech-to-text and sign-language interpreters, guide dogs and assistance dogs).
Accessibility of buildings and outdoor areas
Ensuring the accessibility of building entrances
Safety and accessibility communications
|ACRE, Communications Services (COS)
Development of accessibility monitoring
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.
Responsible parties: Aalto University service functions
On 12 February 2019, the Finnish Parliament adopted the Act on the Provision of Digital Services (DPL, 306/2019) and the act amending the act on electronic services and communications in the public sector (307/2019, in Finnish and Swedish only). The acts entered into force on 1 April 2019. The application of the accessibility requirements at Aalto University began on 23 September 2019 and will continue in the period 2022–2024.
Digital accessibilityInstructions for digital accessibility for the implementation of Aalto University's systems, websites, electronic services, mobile applications and files as required by the Digital Services Act (DPL).
Digital services for teachingThe Teacher Services team, which is part of Learning Services, develops digital services for teaching and learning and provides related support.
Responsible parties: Aalto University service functions
Aalto University’s information network provides staff and students with opportunities for for nondiscriminatory, secure and reliable collaboration. Members of the Aalto community have the opportunity to use such accessible devices and programs in their studying and research as best meet their needs (the BYOD principle).
The implementation of any new software tools is carried out on the scale and timetable that university resources permit as a part of the development of Aalto's digitalisation and digital operations at the national and international level.
The system for booking campus spaces will be developed to improve the accessibility of the research and teaching environment. The reservation process must include the possibility to assess the accessibility of a space when booking it. If necessary, the information in the booking system shall be supplemented in such a way as to allow for this. Accessibility data shall be integrated with other systems related to the use or management of facilities as appropriate.
Digital Aalto Aalto University aims to be one of Europe's leading universities in digitalisation research and practices.
IT services Aalto's IT services are a service unit that supports the entire university's operations by supporting users' needs regarding information systems, networks and IT equipment.
Financial Services (FIS)
Accessibility of work and study
Learning and teaching accessibility
Competence development and networks
|Aalto service functions, ITS, COS, HRS
Information and communication
Responsible parties: Communications Services (COS), Aalto schools and departments
Accessibility will be taken into account in the overall development of online communications. Communications Services (COS) supports university actors in internal communication related to the implementation of the accessibility implementation plan and the evaluation of the results. In addition, COS supports the publishing and updating of information in the communication channels used by the university in implementing accessible interaction and accessible publications. The new network materials comply with the Accessibility Directive and the W3C/WAI initiative. Different language versions in compliance with the university Language Guidelines as well as the standardisation of document formats and content are taken into account as far as possible and on a needs-based priority. In addition, COS engages, when necessary, in prioritising the measures meant to achieve accessibility and a barrier-free environment and also in prioritising the target groups for such measures.
Aalto Schools comply with the Accessibility Directive and monitor the accessibility of websites (research groups, etc.) maintained by their own departments and research groups.
Aalto.fi website - Drupal Help Information about aalto.fi, instructions and advice on how to produce and visualise content and how to improve the findability of content.
Accessible documents (saavutettavasti.fi) Provides practical guidance on how to produce documents that are published online as Word, Excel, PowerPoint or PDF files.
Ensure online communication accessibility
|Aalto service functions
Organise events in an accessible way
|COS, event organisers
Online materials and publications in teaching and research
Responsible parties: Learning Services (LES), Research Services (RES)
Aalto University implements the principle of open publication as widely as possible as part of the university's strategy.
The university's research publications and works included in publication series are primarily published openly, in accordance with Aalto University's open science and research policy.
Open science and research Open science is an important way to promote science and the effectiveness of science in society and to enable new kinds of cooperation and innovation.
Aaltodoc In the Aaltodoc publication archive, you will find doctoral and master’s theses and research publications, among other things.
Open publishing Open access publishing makes scientific publications accessible to all free of charge and without barriers.
ACRIS Aalto University Research Information System and guidelines.
Research.aalto.fi Aalto University's public research information portal.
Supporting the openness of learning materials
Support for open publishing
Offering accessible materials
Aalto University IT is a service unit, which supports the operations of the university by meeting the users and units’ needs concerning data systems, telecommunication networks and IT devices along with the Aalto organization.
Service functions and abbreviations (Suomi, English, Svenska, Johtaja - Director)
- Tutkimus-ja innovaatiopalvelut, Research and Innovation Services, Forskningstjänster - (RES): Ossi Naukkarinen & Ella Bingham
- Kampuspalvelut, Campus Services - (CAS): Ville Jokela (ACRE)
- Oppimispalvelut, Learning Services, Lärandetjänster - (LES): Petri Suomala
- Viestintäpalvelut, Communications Services, Kommunikationstjänster - (COS): Jaakko Salavuo
- Tietotekniikkapalvelut, IT Services, IT-tjänster - (ITS): Kati Hagros
- Talouspalvelut, Financial Services - (FIS): Marianna Bom
- Henkilöstöpalvelut, HR Services - (HRS): Riitta Silvennoinen
- Johtamisen tukipalvelut, Leadership Support Services, Ledningens stödtjänster - (LSS): Sirkku Linna
- Tekniset palvelut, Technical Services - (TSS)