Handicap management at EDHEC: guaranteeing an optimal student experience
Some 160 students at EDHEC received support related to their handicap during the 2021-2022 academic year. This figure has more than doubled over the last two years (from just 70 students in 2019-2020), thanks to the reinforcement of EDHEC’s handicap policy and the deployment of sizeable technical and human resources. In short, the whole School mobilises to provide dedicated measures and facilities to people with disabilities (from enrolment through to graduation) and thus guarantee them a seamless student experience.
Handi Day 2022-2023
Measures suited to all handicaps, both visible and invisible
As the School’s main handicap contact, Ségolène Binet is the prime point of call for students with disabilities and works closely with them to determine customised support measures depending on their particular situation.
“The handicap contact’s role is first of all to listen. It’s important to clearly understand the needs of each person and their disability. We also take the time with each person on a one-to-one basis to determine which support measures are liable to help them the most, in conjunction with the university doctor. We also talk about their well-being.
Next, thanks to the involvement of EDHEC’s teams, adjustments are made for exams and we also follow up on their situation in class with their professors.
Lastly, we take particular care with their internships or exchanges, so as to ensure they’re supported throughout the period of their studies.
We aim to provide them with a fulfilling student experience, both academically and socially”. Ségolène Binet, handicap contact.
“At EDHEC, I feel I’m in an open environment where no judgements are made and I can express myself freely on the subject, particularly with Ségolène. She’s always available and ready to listen and answer my questions”. Victor, suffers from anxiety disorder.
“EDHEC has done a lot in terms of handicap, particularly by setting up an office devoted specifically to the issue. Throughout my years of study, I never felt held back by my difference.” Ayrton, suffers from dysgraphia.
“If I’ve got a question, I send an e-mail to Ségolène and I get an answer the same day or the next one, it’s very quick. Everything works really seamlessly!” Vincent, suffers from diabetes.
A full student experience
Within the framework of EDHEC’s Handicap Committee, Ségolène also ensures the needs of persons with disabilities are taken into account by the School’s various services (Corporate Relations, Career Centre, Student Experience, International Relations, Pilab). Thanks to this collaborative work, EDHEC has identifed 160 of the School’s partner institutions abroad that operate a handicap policy and which are thus suitable for internships or academic exchanges.
“I was supported for my academic exchange in Berlin. The School transferred my medical record to the university, so that the same adjustments could be made as for my studies in France.” Ayrton, suffers from dysgraphia.
Particular attention is also paid to making it easier for persons with disabilities to find employment, notably by sending them a newsletter devoted to internships and jobs and by providing one-to-one meetings with one of the Career Centre’s handicap contacts.
Dedicated support on campuses
Another objective of EDHEC’s handicap policy is to offer people with disabilities the conditions they need to succeed academically. To this end, the School lends computers and grants extra time (one third extra) in a separate room for entrance exams and other exams, these measures being vital for many people with disabilities.
“When I arrived at EDHEC, I didn’t know that my illness gave me the right to benefit from certain adjustment measures. A friend of mine in a similar situation told me about it initially. It’s just perfect for exams! We have our own room and are given extra time which is added automatically to our timetable. The professors are understanding and they’re well aware that we didn’t choose to have our illness or handicap.” Vincent, suffers from diabetes.
“I’d already received support in high school for my dysgraphia. When I arrived at EDHEC, I presented my records straightaway in order to have the right to do my classes on a computer and to obtain specific adjustment measures for my exams, i.e. use of a computer and Excel for quantitative subjects, right to extra time and printing of subjects on A3 paper. I was impressed by EDHEC’s adaptability and attentiveness, particularly regarding Excel, as there were exercises that I wouldn’t have been able to do in Word!” Ayrton, suffers from dysgraphia.
“The extra time is vital for me. If I have an attack, it gives me 10 minutes to leave the room, recover my breathing and if necessary, isolate myself to take a medicine to calm my anxiety. At EDHEC, being in a special exam room is not looked upon badly, but is completely accepted.” Victor, suffers from anxiety disorder.
The Lille, Nice and Paris campuses are also accessible to people with reduced mobility and to the visually impaired (lowered wash basins and steps, direction-finding floor strips, etc.).
Highlighting the diversity of handicaps
At EDHEC, all students are exposed to the issue of handicap via the Handi Day, a day-long event that aims to raise visibility on all handicaps. It also provides the opportunity to welcome EDHEC’s corporate partners and attend their presentations on the measures deployed in their companies to foster the inclusion of employees with disabilities (19 companies were present for the 2021-2022 edition). Many EDHEC student associations are also engaged with the subject of handicap, e.g. ER7 organises a wheelchair rugby tournament, MUSIC’ALL creates a comedy musical each year in conjunction with autistic children, BLACK’N COOK raises awareness of blindness by preparing dinners to be eaten in the dark, etc.
Facilitating access to higher education
Thanks to these constantly improved measures, EDHEC ensures that people with disabilities can access all aspects of student life (international experience, association life, learning) and pursue their studies in the best possible conditions. As Clément, dyslexia sufferer, explains: “At EDHEC, the extra time is vital to me. It makes me calmer during exams. I can take the time needed to re-read the questions several times and to really understand what they mean, particularly when they’re written in a foreign language. Without these measures, I wouldn’t have been able to pursue my higher education studies.”