On this page you will find information about the policies and initiatives that UAntwerp has in place to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities. 

1. An accessible university 

1.1. An accessible environment 

The University of Antwerp aims to make the environment in which students and staff learn and work more accessible. We seek advice in advance of major renovations and new construction to ensure that buildings, classrooms and offices are physically accessible. We are gaining an even better understanding of the barriers to universal accessibility through additional audits by professional organisations. In addition, we are developing our digital environment to ensure that it is as accessible as possible.    

Most of our events, conferences and study days take place in rooms that are accessible. If in doubt, you can always check with the organisers. Assistance dogs are allowed to access personal offices, as well as meeting rooms, classrooms, lecture halls, libraries and the Komida restaurants. However, there are specific hazards (chemicals, sound, radiation, etc.) in many rooms and buildings at our University. Contact Health and Safety at Work to ensure that there are no welfare or safety risks for the dog and/or its environment.  

Need more information?  

2. The Disability Network 

2.1. The Research Group for Disability Studies 

The Research Group for Disability Studies aims to achieve optimal integrated and inclusive care for people with intellectual disabilities.    

In particular, they focus on the following:   

  • Coordinating and initiating research projects  

  • Stimulating initiatives to co-operate and share knowledge and experiences  

  • Diffusion of knowledge and education  

  • Facilitating the exchange between those with lived experience, informal carers and healthcare providers.  

  • To be a point of contact for policy makers and to actively signal the needs of people with disabilities. 

Read more about the Research Group for Disability Studies (Dutch page).

2.2. OPEN Centre of Expertise for Accessible Media and Culture 

OPEN is an initiative of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Antwerp. The Centre has a robust collaboration with TricS, the research group of the Department of Applied Linguistics, Translators and Interpreters, which has been researching the accessibility of media and culture in Flanders and beyond for many years. OPEN stimulates the development of high-quality, user-friendly and accessible media and cultural services. 

Read more about the OPEN Centre of Expertise for Accessible Media and Culture.

3. Campaigns and activities 

3.1. Assistance dogs welcome (2023)  

In 2023, a short campaign was run to make it clear that assistance dogs were welcome in Komida. Some people with assistance dogs stated that they had been approached about the presence of their dog in this restaurant. However, the legislation is clear: an assistance dog is welcome in all places open to the public. You can recognise an assistance dog by the jacket it wears.  

4. Initiatives for a more accessible university  

The University of Antwerp aims to be inclusive for all. In doing so, we take into account the specific hurdles that certain (groups of) people experience at our institution. The following inclusive initiatives explicitly address accessibility