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Tailored Amenities and Teaching Methodologies to Better Cater for Disability at EM Strasbourg Business School

Publié le October 28, 2013, Mis à jour le June 2, 2014

Diversity is one of EM Strasbourg Business School's core values. By sensitising both students and staff on disability issues, the School aspires to become a benchmark in terms of hosting and caring for people with disabilities. The following is an interview with Sarah Richard, EM Business School's Disability Manager. What types of disabilities does EM Strasbourg Business School cater for? Our disability action plan is geared towards addressing all disabilities, including temporary ones. Any student confronted with a difficulty preventing him/her from pursuing his/her studies under normal conditions can request assistance. This is provided by law, whether it be in case of mobility, sensory, mental or cognitive disabilities.

Sarah Richard

Sarah Richard

What amenities have you put in place to cater for people with disabilities?

The type of support we provide depends on individual situations. For example, we accommodated one student's curriculum needs by allowing him to undertake a work-study programme in place of the mandatory year in a foreign partner university. We also provide additional time opportunities during exams while making available note-taking assistance in close collaboration with Strasbourg University's Disability Project team.

How have the students and staff at EM Strasbourg Business School been sensitised to disability issues?

We mainly come forward during the Diversity Day organised by the School, which is a one-day event entirely dedicated to information-sharing and debates on the issue (cultural, sexual, ethnic diversity, etc.). Last year, the workshops related to disability issues focused on stereotypes, the rationale being to have students come to grips with the most widespread stereotypes pertaining to disabilities. Sensitising students also forms an integral part of teaching, notably in Human Resources Management courses. One specificity of EM Strasbourg Business School, however, is that disability issues constitute a research area of their own so that students consistently benefit from highly specialised knowledge input. Such bodies of knowledge naturally flow into the teaching. Finally, students themselves can take ownership of our sensitisation programme, notably through the Diversity Student Club (BDD). In fact, five of our students won the 2013 Prize for the Best Diversity Initiative awarded by the Tremplin Association.

What do disabled students think about the action plan implemented by EM Strasbourg Business School?

They generally appreciate the care provided and the joint support offered by the School and Strasbourg University's Diversity Project Unit (customised orientation, specific assistance and follow-up, human and technical facilities, appropriate arrangements for exams, etc.).

Have you identified some areas for improvement in your diversity programme?
In some cases, it may happen that assistance is provided too far down a student's educational path. This is why we must forge links with secondary education institutes. Such mechanisms can only be developed over time. I am also eager to enhance the role played by students in shaping the School's diversity policy by strengthening the links with the Diversity Student Club. 
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Un binôme avec l'université
En matière de prise en charge du handicap, L'EM Strasbourg fonctionne en binôme avec la mission handicap de l'Université de Strasbourg. Leurs objectifs s'articulent autour de trois axes :
- favoriser l'accès des personnes handicapées aux cursus (notamment via le concours Passerelle Handicap);
- accompagner les étudiants de leur arrivée à l'école jusqu'à leur insertion professionnelle (les Handicafés, par exemple, sont des forums de rencontre entre recruteurs et étudiants handicapés);
- sensibiliser au handicap étudiants et personnels (par l'intermédiaire d'événements variés, comme Handivalides).
Un partenariat avec HP
L'EM Strasbourg vient de signer un partenariat avec Hewlett Packard, qui offre 10 000 euros de bourses à l'école pour :
- les étudiants en situation de handicap (bourses sur critères sociaux);
- acquérir du matériel pour mieux accueillir les personnes en situation de handicap.