The Information and Advice Centre for Students with Disabilities (Informations- und Beratungsstelle Studium und Behinderung - IBS) is the nationwide competence center on the topic of "Study and Disability". Information and advice, networking as well as representation of interests and public relations - the tasks of the IBS are comprehensive and diverse.
The goal of the IBS was and is the realication of an inclusive university. In accordance with Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it works to ensure that people with impairments have non-discriminatory access to higher education and can study with equal opportunities.
The IBS was established in 1982 at the German National Association for Student Affairs (DSW). It is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Tasks of the IBS
With its services, the IBS primarily addresses:
- Prospective students and students with disabilities and chronic illnesses as well as their relatives
- Representatives for students with disabilities and chronic illnesse
- Advisors for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses in higher education institutions and student service organisations (STWs)
- Disability and welfare associations and organisations in the field of rehabilitation
- Higher education institutions and disability policy actors in parliaments and administrations at federal and state level
Research and information
IBS researches and collects information on higher education and disability. Sources include the more than 400 higher education institutions and the 57 student services organisations (in Germany – the Studierendenwerke (or STWs)), case law, federal and state policies and the activities of associations and organisations in the field of education and social affairs. The IBS also collects data itself at higher education institutions (HEIs) and STWs or commissions surveys.
The IBS publishes the processed information online on its websites or in print publications such as the handbook "Studies and Disability". It supports the work of the representatives and advisors with working aids, guidelines and handouts. With its newsletter, it also regularly informs about developments in politics, administration and higher education institutions as well as about interesting facts for counselling practice.
- Handbook "Studies and Disability"
The IBS advises the commissioners and the counsellors for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses on all questions concerning studying with a disability and their field of work.
Prospective students and students can also contact the IBS by mail or telephone, e.g. if prospective students have not yet decided on a HEIs, if students find that there are only insufficient counselling services locally or if no local solution can be found in a complex case. However, the first point of contact for prospective students and students with disabilities and chronic illnesses are the local representatives and advisors. They know the respective HEI, the concrete structures and support services best.
The IBS enables the representatives and advisors for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses to exchange information via a mailing list. Inclusion can be requested via e-mail at [email protected].
The IBS regularly organises events and further training
- for representatives and advisors,
- for students with disabilities and chronic diseases and
- for the interested professional public.
The IBS offers a modularised further training programme for representatives and advisors in HEIs and STWs. In the seminars, participants can learn more about the work of representatives and advisors for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses, about counselling, about the design of compensation for disadvantages in studies and examinations, and about study financing.
In addition, an annual conference brings together the interested public on various topics in the field of "Studies and Disability".
- Events of the IBS
Advocacy and public relations
The IBS represents the interests of students with disabilities and chronic illnesses vis-à-vis politics, administration and the public. It participates in HEIs and socio-political debates with statements or recommendations and participates in decision-making processes in an advisory capacity. With its press and public relations work, it contributes to raising the awareness of the general and university public for the concerns of students with disabilities and chronic illnesses.
The IBS supports representatives, advisory boards and interest groups of and for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses in their public relations and lobbying work.
The IBS cooperates with organisations and initiatives of people with disabilities working nationwide, with the representatives for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses, with social, study and career counsellors. Together with them, it develops analyses of the situation of students with disabilities and chronic illnesses as well as strategies for effectively representing the interests of these students. The IBS offers the representatives, advisors and counsellors space for networking within the framework of its specialist conferences, workshops and seminars. At the same time, it supports their regional and cross-university networking activities. It is a member of the Alliance for Barrier-Free Studies.
The IBS also exchanges information and experience with organisations and associations active in the field of "study and disability" at European and international level.
The IBS is supported by an Advisory Committee. It is composed of representatives of associations and interest groups of people with disabilities, HEIs, STWs, counselling centres and public administration. The Advisory Committee advises the IBS within the scope of its tasks. Together with the IBS, it develops statements and recommendations on issues relating to study and disability and introduces them into the public discussion.
The members of the Advisory Committee include:
- Chairman: Dr. Grebe, Uwe STW Marburg
- Becker, Ulf Standing Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK)
- Dr. Bernier, Antje Wismar University of Applied Sciences
- Bracker, Jakobus German Rectors' Conference (HRK)
- Engels, Viktoria University of Heidelberg
- Esser, Rika Commissioner of the Hessian State Government for People with Disabilities
- Dr. Gattermann-Kasper, Maike University of Hamburg, Office for the Affairs of Students with Disabilities or Chronic Illnesses
- Klasen, Britta Deutsche Rheuma-Liga Bundesverband e.V.
- Kusal, Michaela Akademisches Förderungswerk (AKAFÖ) Bochum, Counselling Centre for the Inclusion of the Disabled (BZI)
- Dr. Mälzer, Moritz Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
- Mölter, Sandra Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Contact and Information Centre for Disabled and Chronically Ill Students (KIS)
- Noghero, Michael STW Augsburg
- Polonyi, Marie University of Leipzig
- Prenner, Torsten Central Placement Office of the Federal Employment Agency (ZAV)
- Schweizer, Johannes Rhineland-Palatinate State Working Group for Self-Help
- Tempke, Katja Enthinderungsberatung des RefRats der Humboldt University Berlin
- Dr. von Boehmer, Alexander Working Group of Representatives of Severely Disabled Persons of the Federation
- Prof. Dr. Welti, Felix University of Kassel, Representative for Studies and Disability
- Zweig, Monique STW Frankfurt (Oder)
In 1982, the German Bundestag decided to establish a central "Counselling Centre for Disabled Study Applicants and Students" at the German National Association for Student Affairs (DSW) - later renamed the "Information and Advice Centre for Students with Disability" (IBS). In doing so, the Bundestag follows the 1982 recommendation "Improving Education for the Disabled in Higher Education" of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder (KMK), which states that "in order to improve information, a central counselling office for the study of the disabled should be established and all parties involved (should) be informed about the extent and scope of disabilities and about the situation of disabled-friendly options".
The IBS is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The work of the IBS was evaluated in 2007 on the occasion of its 25th anniversary (see evaluation report).
- Empfehlungen der KMK