07 May 2021
Two Awards to Our University in Barrier-Free University Awards
Istanbul Technical University (ITU), which has recently accelerated its successful efforts to create a barrier-free campus, received two Orange Flag awards in the 2021 Barrier-Free University Awards organized by the Council of Higher Education (CoHE).
News: İTÜ Media and Communication Office
2021 Barrier-Free University Awards were given in a ceremony held by CoHE. Our University received 2 orange flags in the “Spatial Accessibility” category for the first time this year.
ITU Ayazağa Campus and ITU Faculty of Civil Engineering are two of the places that were awarded in this category. Spatial Accessibility Award (Orange Flag) indicates that the faculty or campus in question is appropriate for the access of persons with disabilities.
“The award will be a source of motivation for our new projects.”
Commenting on the awards received by our University, Coordinator of the Unit for Students with Disabilities Çağrı Artan said the following: “We are happy and proud to return with two awards from Barrier-Free University Flag and Decoration Award Program, to which we have been applying on behalf of our university since 2018. We believe that the implementation of the report prepared as a result of the studies we have carried out in order to increase the educational and structural accessibility opportunities of our University’s Ayazağa Campus and the suggestions we conveyed in our meetings with our managers played a part in this award. While planning the said suggestions, we have adopted the participatory principle to guide our work. In addition to interviews we conducted with the experts working in our unit and the officials from the Directorate of Construction and Technical Affairs of our institution, we paid attention to the suggestions of our students, who are the main stakeholders of our institution. During the study period in which we examined the structural accessibility problems communicated by our students to our unit and shared them with the relevant units, improvements to stairs without handrails and high roadsides, which can present difficulties to users with different skills, and portable and fixed ramps that increase the accessibility of wheelchair users are some of the examples we conveyed and that have been implemented. The pleasure that the valuable award we received gives us will encourage us to work harder while planning the steps we will take towards becoming as accessible and inclusive as possible in all the services we offer. With the driving force of the award we received, we hope that our institution’s units will participate and cooperate more in our studies aiming to make the opportunities our University presents to all its stakeholders not limited to equal opportunity but to make our University an inclusive and barrier-free university and we wish that our achievement is beneficial to our institution.”
Easy access to the faculty with the “Loud Steps” project
İTÜ Faculty of Civil Engineering Department of Environmental Engineering faculty member Assist. Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Güven commented on the award received by the Faculty of Civil Engineering as follows: “Faculties considered within the scope of ‘Spatial Accessibility’ are evaluated in terms of various physical parameters such as guiding and warning signs, stairs, lifting and transmission platforms, guardrails and handrails, passages and corridors, classrooms, wet areas. Especially with the Additional Block that entered into service in 2019, our Faculty of Civil Engineering has become a barrier-free faculty that can be accessed at all its points through platforms, elevators, ramps, etc.Moreover, Faculty of Civil Engineering is the first university faculty in Turkey where visually impaired individuals can receive location-direction guidance inside the building with ‘Loud Steps,’ an indoor navigation application. Loud Steps, developed as a social responsibility project in 2019, will soon be available for use in the ITU Mobile application.”
Spatial Accessibility (Orange Flag)
Barrier-Free University Awards are given in order to raise awareness about the access of individuals with disabilities to places, educational opportunities and socio-cultural activities in higher education institutions and to disseminate good practices. Orange Flag is given to universities that make a certain level of effort in terms of compliance with scientific, health and environmental conditions, taking into account the laws, regulations, zoning plans, regulations provisions, national and international standards regarding the arrangement of open, semi-open and closed areas for individuals with disabilities.