Yasar University

Yasar University, an English medium, Foundation University, is located in the center of the city of Izmir. Selcuk Yaşar Sports and Education Foundation decided to establish Yaşar University in 1999. Yaşar Group of Companies, known for their contribution and leadership in the Turkish economy, wished to establish a contemporary university.Turkish National Assembly passed Law number 4633 on March 29, 2001 with which the university was born. Education started in the academic year of 2002-2003.

The university is composed of five schools, nine undergraduate faculties, two graduate schools and five research and development centers. Yasar University has about 10 thousand students and 740 staff. There are about 20 registered disabled students and about 10 disabled staff.

Yaşar University Selçuk Yaşar Campus consists of 19 buildings established on 26.000 m2. The campus buildings are built by considering accessibility also regularly adopted for special needs of disabled people. Because, even the same type of disability, people may need different needs and abilities. The university considers not only the design and the structural barriers of the campus area but also barriers in communication, communication technology and information technologies. Moreover, steps, thresholds, door widths, elevators, restrooms for disabled people, software programs, text alternatives et cetera are suitable for disabled people.

The Student with Disabilities Unit deals and main responsible unit with the Occupational Health and Safety Board of the university. There are also representatives of the disabled students from each academic unit who is the member of Central Academic Planning Board. One of the members of the Student with Disability Unit is Psychological Counselor. One of the disabled students is the member of the Unit.

The Unit aims to facilitate the studies of our disabled students by removing all barriers to their university education. Furthermore, the Unit carries out various activities to increase sensitivity to the issue and raise awareness among the academic and administrative staff and the entire student body. The Unit organizes face-to-face meetings with our disabled students to identify the status of their disabilities, their issues and needs, to develop individual solutions facilitating access to learning materials and examinations. The Unit also meets with faculty administrators and academics to develop solutions for students with special needs to take part in lectures and examinations

As soon as the new staff or student registered to the university, the HR specialist and the Student Affairs inform the Disability Unit. Psychological Counselor from the Unit invites disabled person for one by one talk to determine the special needs of the person then the person registered to the Unit. According to the interview, the counselor filled the “disabled person information form” and provides suggestions about the needs if necessary such as campus accessibility, course materials, exam or class schedule, exam timing et cetera to the Unit and representatives from each academic unit. At least twice within a semester, representatives provide report to the Unit for each disabled student.

Disabled people encourage participating in Erasmus mobility and social clubs in university. Disabled person receives extra point for the assessment of Erasmus mobility participation.

Academic members of the disability unit regularly attend workshops, panels about accessibility and any other topics related to disability and have been working with the Metropolitan Municipality of Izmir for a disability employment project for 2 years. The university organizes many activities, panels, workshops about the disability every year. Reducing the structural barriers, other barriers university has cooperation with other universities within the city, associations of disabled people, unions, and municipality. Since 2008, Yasar University participate in Disabled Student Workshop organized by Turkish Higher Education Council. Yasar University offers “Music School for Disabled People” and supports disability focused project under the undergraduate level must course “Social Responsibility Project” such as “reading books for visiual impairements”.

There are four-students with autism spectrum disorder at Yasar University. Doruk Gungor, student from the Graphic Design Dept. is the first person with autism spectrum disorder who plays in official basketball game. Cem Vardarcı, student from Music Dept, won the “Cultural Success Award” and “Temple Grandin Award”.

In 2018, Yasar University applied for Turkish Higher Education Council “Accessible University Award” in three categories; education, accessibility and social and cultural activities on disability.