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13 February 2019

The French Conférence des Grandes Ecoles renews its commitment to disabled student inclusion

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On the 10th anniversary of its Disability charter (Charte Handicap) the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles (CGE) has renewed its commitment to the training and inclusion of disabled students.  
A new charter was signed on 11 february 2019, on the Beauvais campus of UniLaSalle, updated and extended to take on evolutions in higher education.  The Rt Hon Frédérique Vidal, the Minister of Education, Research and Innovation and the Rt Hon Sophie Cluzel, the Secretary of State for Disabled People have also signed this charter which sets priorities for access to student society activities and sports, international mobility as well as professional insertion for disabled students.  

‘Thanks to the constant support of CGE, the Grandes Ecoles have extensively addressed disabled student inclusion issues and the progress made so far over 10 years is highly encouraging. We have more and more disabled students in our cohorts and hosting conditions have been constantly improving. But we will not content ourselves with such results! When drawing up this 2nd Disability charter, we have strived to build up collectively a new realistic and achievable roadmap  for all our institutions in order to continue gearing up as regards inclusion issues,’ stated Daniel Choplet, the EM Normandie Secretary General and Julien Soreau, the Head of the Diversity/Equal Opportunity Unit at EM Normandie and joint facilitators of the disability group, during the official presentation of the charter. 

Handicap Liaison Officer: an essential pivot to coordinate and guarantee an Inclusive Dynamics in our Grandes Ecoles
The backbone of the 1st charter signed by the CGE in 2008 was the appointment of Handicap liaison officers within member institutions which has allowed better welcome, advice and monitoring of the students. 
With this new extension, CGE is determined to enhance this role even further. 
The officers have as objectives to support students during their international mobility, under the framework of academic exchanges or internships abroad.  
The mission of the liaison officer is also to facilitate the taking up of a cooperative track, to develop a network of privileged companies, to work together with Alumni to foster long-term professional insertion. 

Student society life and sports as vectors for inclusion and personal development 
In addition, CGE supports the appointment of Disability liaisons officers within each student society in order to involve all students in student society life and guarantee access to all events organised. 
In the wake of the dynamics of the designation of Paris as organisers of the 2024 Olympics, CGE is also determined to develop the welcome and support of paralympic games high level athletes within the Grandes Ecoles. 

Promoting the ‘Secondary Education / Higher Education’ Continuum
Grandes Ecoles are encouraged to re-enforce the visibility of support schemes during their promotional actions (open days, student fairs, external communication exercises, etc.) in order to remove any mental blocks that may remain.   

A new indicator should be released late 2019 to draw up an inventory of Inclusion dynamics in CGE institutions.

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