Univ. Prof. Dr. Gottfried Biewer
Institut für Bildungswissenschaft
Heilpädagogik und Inklusive Pädagogik
RESPOND-HER – Responding to Poverty and Disability through Higher Education and Research
(Laufzeit: 01.10.2011 – 31.12.2014)
Function: Project Coordinator
Financed by the Austrian Development Cooperation within the APPEAR-programme for academic partnership

The project “Responding to Poverty and Disability through Higher Education and Research” (RESPOND-HER), which is based on academic cooperation between the Department of Special Needs Education of Addis Ababa University (AAU) and the Department of Education of the University of Vienna (UV), focuses on the educational and employment situation of persons with disabilities. As one of the most marginalized and disadvantaged groups within Ethiopian society, persons with disabilities face considerably higher risk of poverty. In particular their rights to education and employment are not sufficiently realized due to institutional barriers.
The RESPOND-HER project targets two different, but complementary main objectives:
First, by establishing high quality research on disability and by fostering the teaching skills of academic staff from AAU, the project aims to develop sustainable professional capacities at university level. In the long run, this process will also facilitate the establishment of training for professionals at non-university institutions.

Second, the project will facilitate students with disabilities’ access to higher education and to the labour market by targeting institutional barriers in cooperation with stakeholders from all regions of the country. The latter will be complemented by enhancing services and technical equipment for disabled students at AAU in combination with establishing a nation-wide development plan.
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