Our main goal with this conference was to promote Erasmus + programmes to the students with disabilities in Lisboa through a conference on which also most of the IRO’s of Lisbon would be present in order to be educated regarding to this field and by then to incentive students with disabilities to embrace mobility programmes. Since this is one of the main goals of ExchangeAbility project, we had Thomas Pappas and Nives Tomas of the International Team and International Board to be present on the conference as speakers and trainers.
During the morning period, the conference was focused on how to promote Erasmus + to students with disabilities. We had the representative of the Portuguese National Erasmus + Agency and the Dean of the International Relations Office that presented all the grants a student with disabilities could apply and all the support they could have since many students don’t know these opportunities. After, there was a presentation of ESN Lisboa by our Local Communication Manager and how could we help the students with disabilities to integrate our activities and how we are a bridge of contact with other ESN sections in Europe that can receive them in the best way with all the support they need. Then Nives and Thomas presented the ESN International, ExchangeAbility Project and the MappED! Platform , which caught the attention of the audience since many IRO’s didn’t know about this platform that is so helpful to the students with disabilities, that by accessing the MappED! Website can know if the place they want to study is accessible or not. During the afternoon there was a mapping activity on which all the IRO’s representatives mapped the Univeristy facilities. In the end, Thomas and Nives gave some small sessions on how to approach students with different disabilities and some tips of online communication for these students.
In the end, we can say that the outcomes of this conference were huge since we’ve got many requests from the participants for more information and also invitations to our section to present similar sessions on some faculties. It was very gratifying to see that we were able to motivate and to educate some IRO’s that don’t focus on these particular students since they didn’t have many information. Also since we had the presence of the local ExchangeAbility Coordinators of two ESN Portugal sections that wanted to learn more about the structure of the conference and how they could do something similar in their sections in order to promote Erasmus + to students with disabilities on their cities, we can say “Erasmus Is For Everyone” was a launching conference for other sections to implement and in this way to spread the word to the rest of the country. Since the conference had a huge impact, it was presented a news about this initiative on a Portuguese important newspaper (Jornal O Público) and also won the Star Of the Week of ESN International.