JFDP Conference 2010

Regional JFDP Alumni Conference

”Enhancing Accessibility of the Higher Education to the Disabled”

Nov 22-24, 2010 in Skopje/Ohrid, Macedonia

Call for JFDP alumni presentations

Dear JFDP Alumni,

We are pleased to inform you of the positive outcome of our JFDP Alumni Grant (JAG) application relating the organization of a Regional JFDP Alumni Conference on the topic of ”Enhancing Accessibility of the Higher Education to the Disabled” to be held on Nov 22-24 in Ohrid, Macedonia.
 

Conference General Information

It has been identified that citizens with special needs in the South East European (SEE) Countries, have limited access to all levels of education, in particular the Higher Education (HE).

The unifying goal for most of the South East European (SEE) Countries is their strive to become candidates for, and/or members states of the European Union (EU). One of the fulfilling requirements is to enable equal rights among all citizens, including enabling equal access to the HE for all citizens. Particularly, in the case of Macedonia, where recently the draft law for equal rights of all citizens regardless of nationality, sex, race, age, etc. has been passed in the Parliament, it is of an utmost importance to provide proof that laws and by-laws w.r.t. the equal rights of all citizens are not only delivered in the Parliament but as well properly practiced.

Compared to this, one of the most significant qualities of the HE in the United States (US) of America is its high accessibility to the citizens with special needs (disabillty.gov, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people.rit.edu/easi/). The US Government observes the needs of the persons with special needs through a continuously developing process and cooperation with the associations of the persons with disabilities/special needs, striving for more significant enhancement and improvement in all sectors. The US has a long experience of implementing practices on how to enable and enhance access to all its citizens regardless of their physical or other disabilities. Such positive practices on how to improve HE accessibility are a real treasure for developing countries and countries in transition and could be used as an excellent starting point for addressing the issue of enhancing accessibility of the HE for the persons with disabilities in their corresponding countries.

Among other activities, the US Government through the YES programme in the SEE countries in part addresses this issue in the secondary schools by encouraging also students with special needs to apply for the one year scholarship. However, in Macedonia, in the field of HE, there is no running programme specialized only for persons with special needs. Furthermore, the only HE Institution with a running program related to the persons with special needs is the Faculty of Philosophy within the University of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, where students/candidates are educated and trained to work with people with special needs.

In view of the aforementioned, the main goal of our team is to gather regional JFDP Alumni and to enable fruitful discussions during our Conference on “Enhancing Accessibility to Higher Education for the Disabled”. Thereby, the identified problem of lack of inclusion of the persons with special needs in the HE shall be put under the spot-light.

Book of Abstracts (ENG)
Draft Action Plan (ENG)

Book of Abstracts (MKD)
Draft Action Plan (MKD)

The Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State.  JFDP is managed by American Councils for International Education through a cooperative agreement with ECA.

Conference Goal and Objectives

On the issue of the low level inclusion of the persons with special needs in the Higher Education (HE) (more info in the Conference General information, we identify the following major reasons for the status-quo:

  1. lack of or insufficient corresponding legislative;

  2. limited and/or erroneous and/or lack of enforcing the existing corresponding legislative;

  3. lack of financial means necessary to realize enforcing the legislative;

  4. lack of official governmental and/or non-governmental audit bodies that will serve as a “watchdog”, i.e. will overlook the proper enforcement of the relating legislative;

  5. low level of public awareness for the needs of the persons with special needs;

  6. lack or insufficient support in enabling persons with disabilities to be self-sufficient, i.e. traditionally the nearest family of the persons with disabilities take over providing help on a day-to day basis, thus limiting the motive and the self-esteem of the persons with disabilities.

Therefore, as a main goal of our project team we set out to gather regional JFDP Alumni and to enable fruitful discussions during our Conference on Enhancing Accessibility to Higher Education for the Disabled. Thereby, the identified problem of lack of inclusion of the persons with special needs in the HE shall be put under the spot-light.

Further objectives of the conference are to gather JFDP Alumni, representatives from relevant non-governmental associations, State and Local Governments, other relevant entities in the society of the participating countries in order to:

  1. identify existing problems and open issues related to the accessibility of the HE to the persons with special needs and its enhancement in the participating countries in the conference and to exchange experiences and identify (dis)similarities in their systems;

  2. identify relevant local or state government authorities, relevant associations and Civic Society Organizations (CSOs) involved in the process of tackling the problem of enhancing the accessibility of the HE to the persons with special needs ;

  3. gather US, EU experts in the field of improving/enhancing HE accessibility in the SEE Countries;

  4. exchange experiences; discuss positive practices; transfer of knowledge related to the accessibility of the HE to the persons with special needs and its enhancement in US and/or EU and/or SEE Countries and identify (dis)similarities among different countries;

  5. analyze which positive practices can, and are useful to be transferred from the EU and/or US Countries, respectively;

  6. propose sets of measures to address coping with the identified similar and opposing problems and issues related to the accessibility of the HE to the persons with special needs and its enhancement;

  7. propose and develop an Action Plan for tackling the problem of inclusion of the persons with special needs primarily in Macedonia, which later can be used as a good basis for Action Plans in other SEE countries. This Action Plan shall also serve as a sound basis to publicize the good cause and the human dimension of the goal of this project activity

  8. discuss proposing and delivering necessary legislative (if not existing) for practically addressing the identified problems and/or (if existing) provide insight in the implementing process, identify other related problems and propose measures to overcome them; and

  9. offer to disseminate positive practices and experiences to other developing countries and countries with economies in transition. This shall be done by establishing a regional and/or local network which can later be utilized as a common platform to communicate the activities and the outcomes in various sectors in the HE where enhancement of the accessibility is needed and foreseen. 

This conference aims to gather the most relevant representatives and experts in the field. Thus, the following criteria based on which the conference participants shall be selected apply:

  1. conference participants are expected to prepare either PowerPoint (max. 15-20min) or poster (max. 10min) presentations related to the conference objectives. The presentations shall be subject to assessment and evaluation. This shall not apply for the invited experts.

  2. conference participants are to be either

  • JFDP Alumni that have experience in enhancing accessibility of HE to the persons with special needs.

  • members of the main non-governmental (NG) association of persons with special needs in Macedonia, the Balkan Region, SEE and CIS countries, where JFDP network is established.

  • US and/or EU experts in the field of policy-making, providing financial/funding schemes, implementation measures for enhancing accessibility to education in general, and HE in particular to the population with disabilities.

  • Members/Officials of the Macedonian Government (state and local) responsible for the issues of the persons with special needs. However, equal-level-guests from other countries in the region and beyond shall be welcomed to exchange experiences.

  • American Councils / JFDP Heads of the Offices (HUBs) of participating countries in the conference, if they are able to provide financing for the travel costs to Macedonia and if they show they can actively participate in the conference discussions/presentations.

Thus, we are further pleased to invite you to take part in this regional JFDP conference and to improve its outcomes with your input.  

For that purpose, please prepare an extended abstract of your presentation/poster not longer than 350-420 words (max 1 page). The topic of the presentation/poster should be in line with the above stated objectives of the conference. The Abstract template can be downloaded form the official conference web site http://www.maaa.com.mk/jfdp-conference-2010 under the tab Online Application.

Possible topics/fields for the presentations are

  1. The synergy between the HE and persons with special needs in the countries participating in the conference (e.g. US and/or EU and/or SEE Countries)

  2. Status-quo in terms of existing problems, open issues, and comparative analysis of the systems related to the accessibility of the HE to the persons with special needs and its enhancement in the countries participating in the conference (e.g. US and/or EU and/or SEE Countries);

  3. Positive/negative experiences and involvement of relevant local/state government authorities, relevant associations in the process of tackling the problem of enhancing the accessibility of the HE to the persons with special needs;

  4. Existing and non-existing legislative related to the accessibility of the HE to the persons with special needs in the corresponding countries and comparative analysis of the related legislation among EU and/or US Countries, and/or SEE Countries, respectively;

  5. Exchange of positive/negative experiences in the process of proposing and delivering necessary legislative (if not existing) related to enhancing accessibility of the HE to the persons with special needs in the countries participating in the conference (e.g. US and/or EU and/or SEE Countries); providing insight in the implementing process, identify other related problems and propose measures to overcome them;

  6. Existing experiences with proposing, defining and implementation of country-specific Action Plans related to enhancing accessibility of the HE to the persons with special needs and comparative analysis among EU and/or US Countries, and SEE Countries, respectively.

  7. Plans to disseminate positive practices and experiences to other countries (e.g. establishing regional and/or local network as a common platform to communicate activities and outcomes in various sectors in the HE where enhancement of the accessibility is needed and foreseen).

Please, fill in the online Application Form that can be found at:
http://www.maaa.com.mk/jfdp-conference-2010.

Any additional questions related to the conference can be sent to the official conference e-mail address:
jfdp-2010@maaa.com.mk.

Any additional information shall be shared via the conference web site:
http://www.maaa.com.mk/jfdp-conference-2010.

Official language of the conference is English

 

The Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State.  JFDP is managed by American Councils for International Education through a cooperative agreement with ECA.

Project Partners

The Macedonian American Alumni Association (MAAA).

The Macedonian American Alumni Association (MAAA) is a non-governmental, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that:

  • serves as community connecting people, Macedonian Alumni and US Scholars coming to Macedonia with a main common goal to improve mutual understanding among US and Macedonian citizens;

  • develops and nurtures collaboration between universities, on-line communities, public and private entities, governmental and non-governmental (NG) organizations and other public, business and civil societies;

  • assists in transferring knowledge and expertise to the Macedonian public, business and civil sectors, organizes workshops, seminars and on-line communication.

  • develops and improves the network and collaboration with the Regional Alumni Associations as a long term infrastructure and alumni activities. The idea behind this networking is to promote and conduct joint activities among regional Alumni associations that are identified as having mutual grounds and interests for collaboration, such as the issue promoted and discussed with this project proposal, i.e. securing equal rights for the persons with disabilities.

  • MAAA and its members serve as a pillar that should work on developing and transferring not only scientific and technological innovations, but as well on introducing and nurturing greater social values such as securing and enabling equal rights for the minority groups, including the persons with disabilities. Serving as a pillar to the State alumni society, within this proposal, MAAA can act as a logistic support in coordinating activities with the American Corners, The American Center, the American Councils and the US Embassy in Macedonia, thus enabling optimal utilization of the alumni resources in the country for the benefit of the needs of this proposal, thus securing quality outcomes deriving from it.

    MAAA shall donate in part the engagement of the President and the Secretary, while the President shall act also as a Patron of the conference.

 

The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Head Office in Macedonia.

The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Head Office in Macedonia: FES was founded in 1925 as a political legacy of Germany's first democratically elected president, Friedrich Ebert. Mr. Ebert, a Social Democrat from a humble crafts background who had risen to hold the highest political office in his country, in response to his own painful experience in political confrontation had proposed the establishment of a foundation to serve the following aims:
 
  • furthering political and social education of individuals from all walks of life in the spirit of democracy and pluralism,
  • facilitating access to university education and research for gifted young people by providing scholarships,
  • contributing to international understanding and cooperation.

As a private cultural non-profit institution, it is committed to the ideas and basic values of social democracy.

In this project, FES shall provide logistic and financial support for identifying, inviting one or two German experts on enhancing human rights, in particular of the disabled community involved in the HE and covering travel costs and (if needed) honorarium for the expert(s). The expert(s) should present the status quo in Germany and EU, help identify problems and issues in this sector in Macedonia (possibly in the other participating countries on the conference) and enable transfer of the positive German and EU practices in the Macedonian legislation and its practical implementation. Further, the expert(s) shall actively participate in conducting the discussion during the Round Table (see Conference Agenda) and in formulating the Action Plan which is one of the foreseen outcomes of the herein proposed conference. He/she will also help define possible follow-up activities necessary to realize and carryout the conclusions of the conference.


Polioplus
is the biggest NGO addressing the needs of the community of the disabled/persons with special needs in MKD.

Polioplus is the biggest NGO addressing the needs of the community of the disabled/persons with special needs in MKD. It has a longstanding good track record of promoting needs of the disabled community and challenging and cooperating with the Macedonian Government and Parliament on proposing solutions to the identified problems.

Polioplus is going to provide 2 experts, one of which shall be member of the Conference Organizing Committee. Both experts are going to prepare presentations on the topic of the status quo in Macedonia (1) on the general question of inclusion of the disabled in the Macedonian society and (2) on the involvement of the persons with disabilities in the HE – challenges, problems and opportunities.
 

South East European Network of Youth and Students with Disabillities

The Association of Students and Youth with Disability, Skopje(ASYD) exists since December 2002, and was formed by group of enthusiasts, students the most of who are defectologists.

1. Mission of the association
The mission of this organization is to promote inclusive secondary and higher education for the young people and students with disability, through providing all necessary conditions for that, representing the social model in the approach to the disability and fulfilling the planned goals of the organization.

The goals we set ahead of us refer to promotion of the condition of the young people and students with disability and their successful integration in the society. Our effort6s are directed towards achieving equality of the young people and students, in the sense of creating conditions for them to educate and completely realise their intellectual capacities for the well being of the whole society.

 

Hotel Doncho – Ohrid

Hotel Doncho – Ohrid is a long standing partner to the activities that State Alumni and American Councils organize for the purpose of delivering their services in the Republic of Macedonia. Confirming its dedication to support activities deriving from cooperation with US related entities and US Government institutions, Hotel Doncho – Ohrid provides a special discounted offer for the accommodation and conference hall services for the purpose of organizing the conference proposed herein. We take this occasion to emphasize that the special offer is provided as a result of utilizing the Alumni Resources in Macedonia offered by the Local Office of the American Councils in Macedonia.

 

Mobility Challenge

Mobility Challenge is a non-profit organization founded by women with and without disabilities in 2009. Our mission is empowering lives of disabled people in general, with accent of women with disabilities because of their double discrimination, as women and as disabled.

Our vision is to see people with disabilities in Macedonia fully integrated in society. Our regular activities are promoting human rights of people with disabilities, education and trainings to improve their skills and employment, cooperation with organizations from Europe and worldwide for exchanging experiences and information in order better integration of people with disabiltiies from Macedonia as European citizens.

 

City of Skopje

For the purpose of better realization of our project and in order to enable participation of all relevant stakeholders during the working sessions of the Conference, the City of Skopje has provided the vehicle for persons with special needs and thus enabled their active participation in the Conference working session in Ohrid. This noble gesture shows the high level of awareness of the authorities in the City of Skopje  for the problem of accessibility  and their readiness to contribute to raising the awareness beyond.

The Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State.  JFDP is managed by American Councils for International Education through a cooperative agreement with ECA.

Agenda of the Conference

Book of Abstracts (ENG)
Draft Action Plan (ENG)

Book of Abstracts (MKD)
Draft Action Plan (MKD)

Day 1 ~ Nov 22, 2010

Morning

Arrival of the conference participants AT LATEST BY 10.00AM. Foreseen shall be that the conference participants from abroad have an opportunity to leave the luggage at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering until the transfer buses arrive

For those arriving through Skopje Airport or by land: Meeting point at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering – new building, Skopje, Macedonia.

Preliminary Conference Registration

Morning session (11.00 – 12.10)

(Location: Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, New Building, Room K3-9)

 

10.30 – 11.00

Preliminary Conference Registration

11.00 – 12.10

Official opening of the conference

11.00 – 11.10

Atanas Kochov, President of the Macedonian American Alumni Association (MAAA)

11.10 – 11.20

John Surface (Culture and Education Attaché, US Embassy)

11.20 – 11.25

Gests from Ministries, Grant Givers, Local Government

11.25 – 11.30

Ana Lazarevska / Atanasko Atanasovski, Project Leader / co-Leader

11.30 – 12.15

Introductory session: Katie Bachmeyer US Expert, Fulbright Student ETA

12.10 – 13.10

Lunch - Cocktail (tentative : as soon as the morning session is over)

 

Afternoon session (13.10-15.15)

(Location: Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, New Building, Room K3-9)

13.15 – 14.05

Katrien De Munck, coordinator Support Center for Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO), EU expert: 'Creating Inclusive Higher Education, an example from Flanders, Belgium' (video conference link)

14.05 – 14.55

Mary Quirke, (EU expert, LINK – Project): ‘LINK – Learning Inclusively Networking + Know-How, a European Network’ (video conference link)

14.55 – 15.00

Project Leaders: Closing word for the first day of the conference

15.15–15.30

Gathering conference participants that are to be transferred to the conference working session (WS) in Ohrid
Meeting Point: the Parking at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

15.30

Boarding transfer to the conference participants to Ohrid.

19.00

Forseen arrival in Hotel Doncho Ohrid

19.00 – 20.00

Hotel check-in

 

Evening

20.00 -

Working dinner – continuing the discussions raised/identified during the introductory session

Conference registration during the dinner

 

Day 2 ~ Nov 23, 2010

Morning session

(Location: Hotel Doncho - Ohrid)

8.30 – 9.00

Meeting of the Conference Organizational Board

9.00 – 9.40

Emir Okanovic (Slovenian Association of Disabled Students, EU Expert):Legal frame in the EU concerning practicing equal rights of the persons with special needs with a focus on the HE

9.40 – 10.00

Vladimir Trajkovski (Faculty of Philosophy, Institute of Special Education and Rehabilitation, UKIM): Disabled Students in Higher Education at Macedonian Universities

10.00 – 10.20

Zvonko Shavreski (Polioplus): POLICY and PRINCIPLES in the process of designing the Systemic Law for Persons with Disabilities in RM. CANCELED

10.20 – 11.00

Elena Kocoska (Polioplus): Presentations from the second expert from Polioplus concerning the involvement of the persons with special needs in the Macedonian system for HE
Status quo in Macedonia concerning practicing the rights of the persons with special needs – open issues for accessibility of HE to the persons with special needs

11.00–11.20

Coffee break

11.20 – 11.40

Jagoda Risteska (Mobility Challenge): Comparison to study on University with and without accessibility for students with disabilities: Experience with University of Oregon

11.40 – 12.00

Jasmina Risteska (Mobility Challenge): Inclusive Higher Education

12.00 – 12.20

Daniela Stojanovska-Djingovska Association of students and youth with disabilities): TBA

12.20 – 12.40

Aida Koci (JFDP Alumna): Service Learning and People with Special Needs in Education

12.40 – 13.00

Bojan Karanakov (JFDP Alumnus): Access to Higher Education from an Architects Point of View, Better Higher Education for Everyone

13.00 – 13.20

Rozita Petrinska (JFDP Alumna): Academic Libraries and Users with Special Needs

 

13.20–14.30

Lunch

 

Afternoon session

(Location: Hotel Doncho - Ohrid)

14.30 – 14.50

Ivana Bilic (JFDP Alumna): Access to Higher Education for Disabled in Croatia

14.50 – 15.10

Daniela-Carmen Stoica (JFDP Alumna): A Case Study in the Context of Enhancing Accessibility to Higher Education of the Disabled in Albania

15.10 – 15.30

Mariela Burda, Donika Dardha, Aleksandra Piluri (Lecturers): What the students are looking for and what the Higher Education in Albania offers to the disabled students

15.30 – 15.50

Dimitar Poposki (JFDP Alumnus): Open Source, Open Office, Open Access and Open Educational Resources in Higher Education in Republic of Macedonia

15.50 – 16.10

Dragan Tevdovski (JFDP Alumnus): Implementing accessibility for disabled students in the Macedonian higher education: virtual learning environment

16.10–16.30

Coffee break

16.30 – 16.50

Gjoko Vasilevski Union of the Blind in Macedonia / Municipality of Bitola): Personal experiences

16.50 – 17.10

Nenad Markovic (SEEU Student): Partnership between NGO’s, HE institutions and the Government (Challenges in the Implementation of Friendly Surrounding for Students with Special Needs as Best Initial Power for System Changes)

17.10 – 17.30

Jelena Mirchevska for Igor Mackinovski (Ministry of Labor and Social Policy): Law on employing persons with disabilities


Ana Nikodijevic, Milan Aleksic, Davor Dzhato (JFDP Alumni): Legislation and Higher Education for Persons with Specials Needs in Serbia (cancelled)

Aleksandar Naumovski JFDP Alumnus): Work-based learning to promote career success for students with disabilities (cancelled)

 

Evening

19.30 -

Working dinner – continuing the discussions raised/identified during the sessions

 

 

Day 3 ~ Nov 24, 2010

Morning session

(Location: Hotel Doncho - Ohrid)

9.00 – 10.30

Round table – Open discussion of all participants

11.00–11.20

Coffee break

11.20 – 13.00

Sum-up of the outcomes, conclusions of the conference and the round table in the morning.

Drafting the points to be included in the Action Plan

 

13.00–14.30

Lunch

 

Afternoon session

(Location: Hotel Doncho - Ohrid)

14.30 – 16.30

Meeting of the Conference Organizational Committee with the experts for preparing the summary of the drafted points of the Action Plan – closed to the other participants (they have free time)

16.30–16.45

Coffee break

16.45 – 18.00

Presenting the Summary of the conference, expected outcomes, further actions and the Action Plan.

 

Evening

19.30 -

Final (traditional / national) dinner

 

 

Day 4 ~ Nov 25, 2010

 

Hotel Check-out

Transfer of the conference participants to their departure points.

 

The Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State.  JFDP is managed by American Councils for International Education through a cooperative agreement with ECA.

AttachmentSize
Agenda99.11 KB

Ana Lazarevska,

PhD ME, Asoc, Prof. Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Univ. Sv. "Kiril i Metodij", Skopje Macedonia and MAAA member

Atanasko Atanasovski,

M.Sc. TA & RA,  Faculty of Economy, Univ. Sv. "Kiril i Metodij", Skopje Macedonia and MAAA member

Aida Koci,

PhD, Asoc, Prof.,American Studies, South East European University and MAAA member

Qatip Arifi,

PhD Asoc, Prof. , Linguistics, South East European University and MAAA member

Elena Kochoska,

Polioplus

Atanas Kochov,

PhD ME, Prof. Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Univ. Sv. "Kiril i Metodij", Skopje Macedonia and MAAA member

Vesna Filipovska,

Secretary of MAAA

Velika Angelkova (TBC),

American Councils Head Office in Macedonia

 

The Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State.  JFDP is managed by American Councils for International Education through a cooperative agreement with ECA.

Ss. Cyril and Methodi University - Skopje,
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering


 

The American Chamber of Commerce in Macedonia

 

City of Skopje

The Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State.  JFDP is managed by American Councils for International Education through a cooperative agreement with ECA.

Personal gains, impressions and comments

Atanasko Atanasovski (Project Leader, JFDP 2010, Macedonia)
Participation in such a conference gives one an opportunity to meet people whom life has learned to forget the obstacles brought in by their own physical health and to forgive others who unnecessarily isolated them on the margins of society. When one realizes the kind of zeal and passion with which they live every moment of their life, it is only fair to ask whether you would have lived more calmly and fulfilled if you did not have all of your senses available to be dazzled daily by the dynamics of the environment. If you are of the opinion that you slowly lose the love for the other and it’s been a while since you have been fascinated by the grandeur of the man, just as in my case, it is enough to gain a new friend who is fully visually impaired, but who uses a computer to communicate with you by e-mail and skype, that you realize the great things that we can achieve together.
 
Jagoda Risteska (Mobility Challenge, Macedonia)
The success of the JFDP conference lies in bringing together people who are professionals in different fields, who already saw the importance of the accessible Higher Education in USA from one side and representatives of NGO`s for people with disabilities in Macedonia, who finished their Higher Education in environment which is not accessible, from other side. The conference ran into the spirit of “What can I do to make a change”, so each of the experts gave suggestions for improvement of Higher Education for students with disabilities in field which is competent. It is very important that in the end of the conference we prepared аn Action Plan, which can initiate future projects for changes in Higher Education system in Macedonia.
 
Jasmina Risteska (Mobility Challenge, Macedonia)
I see the importance of this conference through the exchange of experiences among various participants from different countries of the region. In this way, we identified the actual conditions with reference to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the higher education not only in the Republic of Macedonia, but in the region. Exchanged were experiences towards possible ways to improve the status-quo.
One of the Conference outcomes was the preparation of an Action Plan for greater inclusion of persons with disabilities in higher education in the Republic of Macedonia. I hope that the projects arising from this Action Plan will contribute to real improvement in the inclusiveness practice.
 
Ivana Bilić (JFDP 2009, Croatia)
(While) Preparing this paper, particularly in the field research phase, I become more aware of the problems with which the students with disabilities have been faced during their educational process and socialization. Staying with few of them in open discussions and everyday situations during the course of the conference, arose my abilities to understand this problem broader. Furthermore, the conference participants were provoked to reflect about their future actions and possibilities to contribute in resolving this problem in the region through mutual cooperation. I firmly believe that this conference will be just a start point for our future actions in regional upgrading the accessibility of higher education for people with disabilities.