Jul 29, 2021

ACCESS consortium held its VII coordination virtual meeting on 22nd July 2021. Participants had the opportunity to examine the work undertaken during the last 6 months, working exclusively on remote basis from the beginning of 2021. The virtual gathering was attended by delegates from Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Greece and Spain,  representing all the 13 Higher Education Institutions and  3 national Ministries of Education which take part in the ACCESS project.

First, partners were exposed to the progress made within the needs analysis tasks. The University of Macedonia and the University of Alicante presented the first draft of the document, which integrates qualitative and quantitative data from students, staff and academic personnel from our Universities in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Cuba. This is a ground-breaking exercise which overviews challenges and strengths of the Higher Education systems in the Caribbean and Centro America in terms of inclusion and accessibility. ACCESS team also arranged the last actions to finalise this work package.

7th Coordination Meeting (2)

Afterwards, partners were informed that the next Capacity Building action of the ACCESS project is foreseen to be organized in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) during the 8th-13th November 2021, hosted by UNAPEC. This will be the first in-person event of the project after the COVID-19 crisis. Considering the positive evolution of the pandemic in the region and the roll-out of vaccination campaigns, UNAPEC and the rest of the ACCESS consortium are confident about the prospects of this meeting. ACCESS partners are hopeful that they will be able to travel to Santo Domingo and learn on inclusion and disability support policy together with EU experts on these topics.

Later, the Universidad CENFOTEC and TEC from Costa Rica provided an update on the respective work packages that they lead. On the one hand, UCENFOTEC explained pending documentation and deadlines for the formulation of the Strategic Planning for the Support Centers. On the other hand, ITCR urged partners to provide information on the national and institutional frameworks in place for inclusion education at Higher Education level. Finally, ACCESS consortium agreed upon the next steps and project mobilities, looking forward to an amelioration of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide in order to allow for international mobility and enable in-person execution of the project.

7th Coordination Meeting (3)

ACCESS/“Promoting Accessibility of Students with Disability to Higher Education in Cuba, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic” is an Erasmus+ Key Action 2: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices: Capacity-building in higher education, co-funded by the European Commission. The overall objective of the ACCESS project is to improve accessibility, ensure learning conditions and foster policy change towards inclusion for students with disabilities within the context of the Higher Education system in Costa Rica, Cuba and Dominican Republic via modern inclusion practices, training and networking. ACCESS will be implemented during the next 3 years and plans to return to face-to-face actions as soon as the COVID-19 pandemics allows to do it.