Who are we?
Map4Accessibility gathers 7 partners from 5 different EU Member States (Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, Portugal and Belgium) having complementary profiles allowing them to have the ideal competence-based mix to design and implement a truly impactful collaborative project.
1. Università degli Studi della Tuscia – the coordinator | UNITUS
Profile: The University of Tuscia (UNITUS) is a public medium size university located in Viterbo, with campuses in and around its historical centre. Viterbo is a small city in the heart of Italy, located less than 100 km from Rome and just over 200 km from Florence.
The UNITUS, founded in 1979, has rapidly developed to become a reference place for education and learning (1st University in Italy for enrolment growth in 2020/2021), offering courses that focus on topics relevant to the territory and to real-world problems with a broad international scope. For 2021/2022 academic year, UNITUS offers 19 Bachelor’s (3 years), 22 Master’s (2 years), 2 single cycle degree (5 years) programs and 7 PhD courses.
UNITUS has always been very active both at the national and international level by participating in many mobility and research projects financed by the EU, such as Erasmus+ KA107 International Credit Mobility (more than 60 Universities of 26 Countries involved) Erasmus+ Capacity Buildings and Strategic Partnerships, one Jean Monnet Center of Excellence on Integration of Migrants in Europe and more than 20 Horizon 2020 Programme (H2020) and Horizon Europe projects and one Jean Monnet Center of Excellence on Integration of Migrants in Europe.
UNITUS is attentive to the student needs in and out of the classroom and is committed to supporting their entire educational path through guidance, tutoring, and job placement counseling.
The university’s goal is to guarantee integrated, inclusive and immersive teaching that involves. everyone, no one excluded, even at a distance.
2. Association de Recherche et de Formation sur l'Insertion en Europe Belgium | ARFIE
Profile: ARFIE (Association for Research and Training on Integration in Europe) was set up in 1992 as a European NGO to improve the support, social inclusion, and availability of services to people with disabilities, people with important dependency needs and with associated mental health needs. Through more than 25 years of close collaboration between service providers and training and research centres in the disability field, ARFIE has delivered numerous European projects and publications on disability issues, all with the aim to disseminate good practices on how the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities could be implemented. Аs an ordinary member of the European Disability Forum, ARFIE has been in close collaboration with organisations and other stakeholders defending the rights of persons with disabilities and promoting social inclusion. ARFIE represents a platform for professionals to compare and develop best practiceс across different countries about quality of life and equal opportunities of disabled people.
Role in the project: ARFIE will be involved in all the work packages and will also strongly contribute to the sharing and promotion of results since it has proved expertise in this field as also notable outreach:
- At EU level ARFIE works closely with other EU umbrella organisations working in the disability field, EU institutions representatives and the Intergroup on disability in the European Parliament. ARFIE is also a member of the European Disability Forum (EDF).
- At regional and local level ARFIE can count on its members, from several EU members States: research centers and social service providers.
3. Università degli Studi di Catania | UNICT
Profile: The Department Civil Engineering and Architecture (DICAR) is part of University of Catania, one of the oldest University in Italy, founded in 1434, with more than 40,000 students. DICAR gather competencies in civil engineering and architecture. DICAR hosts Master’s Degree Courses in Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Building Engineering and Architecture and a PhD course in Urban Risk Assessment and Mitigation. Particularly, programmes about Geographical Information Systems and Planning are developed within the MSc courses of “Build Engineering and Architecture” and “Architecture” and the PhD course in “Urban risk Assessment and Mitigation”. The Department facilities include several laboratories, with teaching and research aims. Particularly, the “Laboratorio per la Pianificazione Territoriale e Ambientale” (LAPTA) conducts research and runs activities in urban and landscape planning, GIS, regional sustainability, environmental and transportation analysis. LAPTA includes the most important software suites for GIS and remote sensing. UNICT have actively participated in the last years in hundreds of projects belonging to all European Programs. Among the research fields are included: sustainable planning, climate change, integration between planning and transportation systems, biodiversity and ecosystems services, environmental sciences, information and communication technology, historical heritage conservation.
Role in the project: UNICT will support with the project the following activities:
- scientific support for the development and coordination on accessibility topics and related app,
- organisation of events with stakeholders concerned with accessibility,
- lectures and teaching activities on Spatial Sustainable Urban Planning and accessibility,
- development of teaching materials,
- enrolment of students’ teams,
- design and development of students’ teams to work on the test the developed app,
- presentation of results of the project at major international conferences,
- monitoring the overall project quality, in terms of progress and development of the app.
4. South-West University Neofit Rilski | SWU
Profile: South-West University “Neofit Rilski” (SWU) was founded in 1976 in Blagoevgrad. With a history of over 40 years, the University has gained a reputation as a leader in the sphere of science and education in Bulgaria and on the Balkans. At present, it is recognised as one of the forefront classical universities in South-Eastern Europe. The University is accredited with maximum assessment grade by the National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency, which guarantees the quality of the educational service in 77 Bachelor’s, 120 Master’s programs after completion of higher education and 88 Doctoral programs. The training is conducted in 30 professional areas in the fields of the humanities, the technical, management, social, pedagogical, legal, and economic sciences, the arts, health care, public health and sports. South-West University “Neofit Rilski” implements scientific research that is also co-funded by different European programmes.
The university is in the process of adapting to respond to the specific needs of students with disabilities. Currently the academic and administrative authorities have been instructed to support students who need special attention when testing or training and the university has a dedicated centre for students with special needs.
Role in the project: SWU will be one of the partners with a case study on HEI accessibility within the project. In addition to the Bulgarian case study, they will be responsible for the Handbook on Applications of Service Learning (PR4): an Innovative Pedagogical Approach to engage students and teachers for accessibility and inclusivity leader and piloting participant as one of the case studies.
5. ESCP Business School, Campus Berlin| ESCP
Profile: ESCP Business School, Campus Berlin is a state-recognized higher education institution (HEI) based in Berlin, Germany and is an integral part of ESCP Business School: the world’s oldest business school. Through its research, ESCP develops a singular concept to management disciplines based on a multicultural, interdisciplinary, and open approach to the major challenges of tomorrow’s world. The ESCP community is committed to promoting pluralism through respect for cultures and all forms of diversity. ESCP’s European identity enables the provision of a unique style of cross-cultural business education and a global perspective on international management and sustainability issues. For ESCP in general and ESCP Berlin in particular an international research focus is linked with excellent teaching and high-level management training. Consequently, research and development is the backbone of ESCP Berlin. The activities of ESCP faculty members reach across teaching, research, and academic programme leadership. Besides, ESCP increasingly supports transversal research conducted with nonmanagement disciplines, facilitated by its numerous academic alliances and partner universities. ESCP has a particular expertise in 3 academic key areas, namely sustainability, entrepreneurship, and digitalisation with a foundation of international management.
Role in the project: ESCP will contribute to the community mapping and case studies. Students from the European Centre of Digital Competitiveness will be actively engaged in the content development and the design of the Open Access Book (PR5) with the activity being included as part of their curriculum.
6. Associação Salvador Portugal | AS
Profile: Associação Salvador is a Portuguese non-profit organisation working to promote the integration of physically disabled people in society. With the objective of improving these people’s quality of life, the organisation develops projects to raise awareness, disseminate knowledge and promote social integration in the fields of sports, employment, training, events, and personal development, providing adapted equipment, promoting accessibilities, school awareness (from
kindergarten to university), road safety programmes and promoting equality of rights. They have 16 paid staff in Lisbon and Porto, and in 2019 they have had the contribution of 163 volunteers who have offered more than 4.600 hours of their time to benefit the projects. Their 12 ambassadors (people with disabilities that represent them in initiatives all over Portugal) also participated, boosting the impact of the events. Associação Salvador has also had several initiatives that counted with the involvement of students, from high school to university. In 2018 the organisation launched the + Acesso para Todos app, which enables users to rank the accessibility of Portuguese public places and file an official complaint whenever a place is not accessible.
Role in the project: The main involvement of Associação Salvador will be in the design and development of the project’s app based on their own +Acesso para todos app, expertise in disability awareness events and campaigns organisation.
7. Evroproject OOD | EP
Profile: Europroject (EP) is a French-Bulgarian consultancy specialised in the setting-up of European research & innovation projects specifically under the framework of ERASMUS+, Horizon Europe and LIFE. Europroject has broad experience in project management, dissemination and exploitation, web design and development, including the creation and maintenance of project websites and online platforms and adherence to accessibility standards. The company has developed a wide network and strong relations with research organisations, local public bodies, NGOs, training centres and private companies. EP currently participates in the implementation of 10 EU projects, including large-scale ones, and benefits from the wide experience of its French mother company Euroquality, which has been the project manager of more than 30 EU projects over the past 10 years. Europroject’s teams have specific knowledge and competences in the fields of environment, energy, climate change, social sciences and humanities. In 2020 Europroject and Euroquality became part of the Italian group TINEXTA, merging innovation consulting expertise with their subsidiary Warrant Hub S.p.A.
Role in the project: EP’s web design and development team will lead the development and creation of Map4Accessibility Guide on Inclusive Digital Accessibility, provide support for the compliance of all project outputs to industry accessibility standards, support the development of PR3 and the project’s website and communication tools and provide advice to partners on the daily administrative and financial management due to its familiarity with the rules, procedures and reporting of Erasmus+ projects.
8. Advisory Board
Role: The Advisory Board will:
- Serve as a validation body for all project results and milestones based on the quality standards to be set up,
- Enable the broad dissemination and replication of the project’s outcomes,
- Provide ongoing multi-sided feedback on the project’s development and the resolution of any issues consortium partners can potentially encounter using the External review framework for advisory board members.