In order to ensure equal possibilities and to establish appropriate studying conditions for socially vulnerable groups and students with special needs, since 2012 the University has been the partner of the projects “Ensuring of study access for students with special needs” implemented by State Studies Foundation (SSF; http://www.esparama.lt/projektas?id=33286) and “Ensuring of study access for disabled students" (https://vsf.lrv.lt/lt/projektas-studiju-prieinamumo-didinimas-studentams-turintiems-negalia). By these projects it is intended to ensure accessibility of higher education and improvement of study quality for students with special needs. Project executor (SSF) creates favourable study conditions crucial for students with special needs: it provides financial support for disabled students every month, which can be used to increase access to studies regarding every student’s special needs; optimum workplaces for studies of disabled students are arranged in higher education institutions, physical and information environment is adjusted, special software, technical equipment and ergonomic furniture are purchased. A significant attention in the project is paid to the development of support staff qualifications (including mentors). Employees of University administration and lecturers annually participate in SSF organized training.
Responsible KMAIK employees regulate the process, inform and consult students on the issues of receiving and using the allowance, evaluate how information and physical environment of higher education institutions is adjusted to students’ special needs and seek for the ways to improve it as well as to disseminate information about the measures to increase study access and establish conditions to obtain the information faster and in a more convenient way.
Individuals who are disabled or cannot return the loan to the state due to their disability, disease or injury, can be exempt from returning the state loan or its part by the decision of Committee formed by SSF director. Disabled individuals who studied in state-funded place and terminated their studies are exempt from the duty to return the student’s basket amount to the state budget.
On the basis of the tools of the project “Increase of study access”, using financial support of LR Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and the funding of the University, equipment increasing study access and improving conditions for students with special needs was purchased/installed, namely stair-climber “Liftkar PT Uni 130”, vertical wheelchair lift, specialized computer mice “Traxsys Roller II”, text (screen) magnifying software “SuperNova Magnifier”, furniture adapted to students with special needs in the Central building classes.
In 2020 a significant amount was invested in adjustment of physical environment of University Central Building for individuals with movement disabilities: a parking lot was arranged and marked, lanes and access for a wheelchair to the staircase were equipped, the elevator for the disabled was installed and the toilet adjusted for the disabled was arranged; in students’ dormitory No 4 two rooms for the disabled were equipped.
Students from socially vulnerable groups or with special needs can address the KMAIK’s coordinator of the disabled issues Kristina Javaitienė (for contacts see https://www.kmaik.lt/faculty-of-environmental-engineering), with whom they discuss all relevant aspects related to studies, various support forms and integration in the life of University’s academic community. Various exemptions for study or accommodation payment are applied for socially vulnerable groups (orphans, the disabled, students from large families, or families with low income).
Socially vulnerable groups and students with special needs can study according to the individual study plan. Following Study Regulations, by student’s motivated request an individual study plan can be designed meeting his/her needs. It includes arrangement of study subjects/modules and tests throughout the term. Individual study plans are approved by the head of the department.