Learn about Exchange in Oslo.
In Norway, the government instituted a Plan of Action for Disabled Persons in 1990 and has been improving on it since. The Norwegian Assocation of the Disabled can be contacted at:
P.O. Box 9217, Grønland, N-0134 Oslo
or by telephone at 22-17-02-55
In 1999-2000, there were 716 disabled students at the University of Oslo, the largest group being comprised of those with back/neck problems, followed by mobility impairments, dyslexia, vision-impairments, other handicaps, hearing impairments, tendonitis, hidden disabilities, and allergies. Typically in the past, Oslo has hosted students with partial hearing loss, blindness, and learning disabilities. In 1999, the University of Oslo was awarded the Nordic Handicap-Political Councils accessibility prize in the category of higher education for its plan of action for disabled students. The Seksjon for funksjonshemmede studenter (Office for Disabled Students) has 6 employees and is closed in July, but will assist ISS students if contacted in advance. It is open during the academic year for OYP students. Services provided include counseling and lending a range of equipment.
There are two different types of programs you can attend at the University of Oslo: the International Summer School program (ISS) and the Oslo Year Program (OYP). In the ISS program, students typically spend three hours per day in class and up to three hours for out-of-class work. This will vary depending on the class. In the OYP program, students typically spend 12–15 hours per week in class.
Students are expected to learn course material from lectures, readings, participation in class, excursions, discussion, presentation, and language lab. Active class participation is expected. Homework assignments may be either handwritten or typed. Depending upon the course, there may be excursions. Most of the time destinations are reached by public transportation.
Most of the buildings and classrooms are wheelchair accessible. Classes can sometimes be relocated if needed. There may be volunteer scribes for the classroom. Varying internship/work sites are wheelchair accessible.
Service dogs are allowed in classrooms. There is Braille signage for all buildings and some elevators, but not on individual classrooms. A mobility orientation to campus will be offered. Any extra help will come from the voluntary help of fellow students.
Sign language interpreters are only available to Norwegian citizens. An fm/radio aid system is available for loan. Note takers are available. Some of the courses offer course syllabi in advance of the program and modify deadlines or format of the assignment. All the lectures can be tape recorded. Test accommodations are provided and students are allowed to use calculators.
Sometimes wheelchair accessible transportation can be arranged, and some sites are wheelchair accessible. A volunteer will assist as a sighted companion or to describe visual information.
ISS students will live in a student dorm with a cafeteria on campus, across the street from most classes. Laundry facilities are available on-site. Many extra-curricular activities take place in the dormitory. OYP students live in regular student housing at the University of Oslo: single rooms with a shared kitchen and bath. The housing facilities are approximately a 15-20 minute walk from campus. Fjellbirkeland Student Town has some flats specifically designed for a disabled student but they are in high demand and most likely won’t be available.
Computers are available for student use, including email and internet. Adaptive technology that can be used on-site include a scanner, Braille printer, text magnification software, large screen for reading magnified print, CCTV, and speech output software. Voice recognition is in the trial phase. A cassette tape recorder, Braille note taking device, adaptive keyboards and trackball can all be borrowed. The computer labs are wheelchair accessible.
The University library is wheelchair accessible and is centrally located on campus. Assistance is provided for consulting the card catalogues, making photocopies, and taking books off the shelves. An electronic catalogue is available. A computer equipped with text magnification software, a Braille display connected to the computer, and a text scanner for students to use to conduct research are all in the process of being completed. A private room for students to work with a reader is available if reserved in advance.
Public transportation (the subway) stops onsite. Public transportation operates from approximately 6 am to midnight, 7 days a week. The subway is wheelchair accessible.
Specialized students’ health services are located on campus and free of charge. Counseling services are available. Dentists are not available on campus and are not covered by health insurance. The health services are wheelchair accessible. Access is difficult if a student has to rely on an interpreter.