making renaissance accessible the case of van dale college in leuven koen neyens k u leuven
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Making Renaissance accessible The case of Van Dale college in Leuven Koen Neyens (K.U.Leuven). Making Renaissance accessible. In memory of Stefanie, K.U.Leuven student Clinical Psychology 2002-2010, who died on March 2, 2010 Frequent visitor of Van Dale college,

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making renaissance accessible the case of van dale college in leuven koen neyens k u leuven

Making Renaissance accessibleThe case of Van Dale college in LeuvenKoen Neyens (K.U.Leuven)

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

making renaissance accessible
Making Renaissance accessible

In memory of Stefanie,

K.U.Leuven student Clinical Psychology

2002-2010, who died on March 2, 2010

Frequent visitor of Van Dale college,

always struggling with cobble stones

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

what to expect from this session
What to expect from this session?
  • Introduction
  • A wonderful sight-seeing tour
  • The Van Dale college case process
  • Built heritage for All methodology
  • Evaluation
  • Questions

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

intro about k u leuven
Intro: about K.U.Leuven

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

private catholic university since 1425

34 940 students (12 % international)

8 617 university staff

8172 university hospitals staff (UZLeuven)

Association K.U.Leuven

cooperation with 12 Flemish university colleges (about 80 000 students)

K.U.Leuven equal opportunities policy

Masterplan inclusive equal opportunities & diversity policy (2005)

including Education and Examinations Regulation

framework for reasonable adjustments since 2009

Diversity Policy Department (Rectorial services)

responsability of vice rector of Student Affairs

Research coordination (http://www.kuleuven.be/lucide)

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

intro about k u leuven disability office
Intro: about K.U.Leuven Disability Office

Service for students with disabilities

  • Interdisciplinary support of students with disabilities since 1973 (founded by Myriam Van Acker)
  • Disability Office since 2007 (staff 5 FTE)

Student Counselling Services

Mission:

    • Organizing the support of students with disabilities
    • Recognition, registration, needs assessment, coordination of individual and group support program (2,5 FTE disability officers)
    • Supporting and stimulating the university staff to improve the accessibility of the learning environment (working groups)

2008-2009: 890 students with disabilities registered

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

intro physical accessibility policy k u leuven
Intro: physical accessibility policy K.U.Leuven
  • 1996-1999 Access working group
  • 2005: reactivation of working group thanks to the renewed Equal opportunities policy

Installation of Working Group Physical Accessibility

  • Mission
    • auditing  development of K.U.Leuven accessibility standards
    • networking and training
    • implementation
    • interaction with Diversity board
  • K.U.Leuven standards integral accessibility of university buildings (sept 2006 1st edition), launched and supported by the Director of Technical services

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

sight seeing tour 1
Sight-seeing tour (1)
  • City of Leuven
  • University campus integrated

in the city architecture

> 500 historic buildings

  • Growing Physical accessibility

awareness in city & university policy

Van Dale college

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

sight seeing tour 2
Sight-seeing tour (2)

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

slide9

Sight-seeing tour (3)

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

sight seeing tour 4
Sight-seeing tour (4)

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

sight seeing tour 41
Sight-seeing tour (4)

Van Dale college

  • built in 1569 for housing of poor students
  • oldest Renaissance building in the city
  • social employment house from 1800

(1250 people employed)

  • since 1986 house of Student services combined with student accomodation

Layout of the VDC

  • arched doorway
  • knight house
  • chapel
  • U-shaped building
  • auxiliary buildings

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

the van dale college case process
The Van Dale college case process
  • Renovation in 1986 (Europa Nostra award 1992)
    • limited attention to accessibility, minimal adaptations for accomodation
  • Various proposals for adaptations to improve the accessibility of the services (e.g. Housing advisors)
  • Integration of all student services in VDC (sept 2006)
  • Proposal of WG Physical Accessibility K.U.Leuven to use VDC for the auditing methodology (our university environment as a lab)
  • Open letter about inaccessibility
  • Internal lobby campaign to start up process (cartoon campaign)
  • Creation of ad hoc working group (1. Engagement)

Director, Head housing services (building responsible), Architect Technical Services, Staff member Student services using a wheelchair, Faculty member of Architecture department, Head of Disability Office.

Mission: developing a strategic plan for integral accessibility

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

from open letter to working group
From Open letter to Working group

Physical inaccessibility

The scandal of Student services

Can we expect from K.U.Leuven that its student services are accessible for students with a physical disability anno 2008 ? Of course. Are the services physically accessible ? Not at all, and that’s a scandal.

Walk and drive with me through the Van Dale college. (…)

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

the van dale college case process1
The Van Dale college case process

(2. Imaging phase)

Inventory of accessibility needsin 2 ways:

  • ‘objective‘ audit of the building by an accessibility advisor

 evaluation and action plan

  • ‘subjective‘ needs are identified by persons with a disability in collaboration with architecture students (Master and PhD level)

3 mobility impaired expert users (2 wheelchair users)

2 visually impaired users (low vision & blind)

1 student with autism spectrum disorder

 6 teams , 6 reports

Inventory of heritage valuesof VDC: historic study Technical Services.

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

slide16

“building as a true labyrinth requiring

supreme concentration to navigate”

“dangerous obstacles”

“unpleasant atmosphere,

bad smell (ventilation) &

sound (resonance)”

“spaces do not invite

to use them”

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

slide17

“doors are too heavy”

“lack of clear organisation”

“inaccessible signalisation”

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

the van dale college case process2
The Van Dale college case process

An enriching experience for the architecture students !

“Her description of architecture is so much different than ours: where we recognise paintings and ornaments on the wall, and thus see a filled up space, she hears an unpleasantly echoing room, which is poorly ventilated and unpleasant to stay in.”

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

the van dale college case process3
The Van Dale college case process

And also an enriching experience for the user experts:

“I hope that your task was not fruitless, but really has a sensible goal: improving the Van Dale college. It was very useful to visit it with 3.

Each has his own perspective on something. You 2 from your architecture studies and I from my experience of the building.

It could be an annoying task when you 2 had acted arrogantly in the sense of “we study architecture and we know it better” but this was not the case. You listened well in order to then reformulate things, or view them in another way, or be strengthened in an opinion.”

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

slide20
(3. Concept heritage-accessibility plan)

Concept plan as result of exploring possibilities and feasibilityto reconcile the needs with the building‘s heritage values (by architect Technical Services)

  • organisational interventions
    • discussion: huge impact on daily working of services

(e.g. accessible front desks, less accessible back-offices)

(e.g. limited amount of accessible contact rooms)

  • permanent or temporary physical adaptations
    • budget discussion

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

built heritage for all
Built heritage for All
  • Framework (Neyt 2008)
  • heritage-accessibility engagement
  • imaging phase: analysis of accessibility needs and heritage values
  • concept heritage-accessibility plan
  • final heritage-accessibility plan
  • implementation
  • evaluation

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

evaluation 1
Evaluation (1)
  • Both expected & unexpected findings
  • Role of non-visual qualities and mental thresholds in assessing built space
  • Strong impact on
    • exploration of solutions
    • formulation of concept heritage-accessibility plan
  • Several problems can be solved by reorganization
  • [Theoretical] line of thought is applicable to [reality of] daily working environment
  • Dialogue is experienced as highly valuable by both architects & persons with disability

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

evaluation 2
Evaluation (2)
  • Assumption that the inaccessibility lies in the multiple differences in levels and cobblestones

 auditing showed a more nuanced picture

  • Advantage of involving “external parties”
    • objective audit by the accessibility advisor: more authority than an audit by the Technical services
    • subjective audit: unforeseen issues to address, unforeseen opportunities for improvement
  • Intensive (time-consuming) balancing process !
    • innovation resistance, assumptions,…
    • don’t forget the colleagues/employees

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

questions to you
Questions to you
  • Any similar experiences?
    • good practices?
    • bad practices?
  • Experience with making physical accessibility information public for users?
    • database of buildings with evaluation of accessibility parameters

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

questions to me
Questions to me?

Thank you !

Sunny greetings

from Leuven

7th International Conference on Higher Education and Disability, Innsbruck 2010

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