Lack of adequate accessibility to the facilities of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki is common knowledge and a problem that needs to be addressed.
After decades of designing, conducting studies and implementing projects which, for many reasons, do not meet current accessibility specifications (that is, there are buildings built at the end of the 19th century, the old building of the Faculty of Philosophy being the most typical example, and buildings which were built at a time when accessibility specifications were not even set), this Office was founded at a most crucial time to ensure that in the future all facilities will meet the corresponding specifications.
This is very important, considering that efforts to conform, in retrospect, to the specifications set will result in higher costs compared to the estimated cost in case these were followed in the first place while designing the buildings.
Moreover, except for its main objective, that is, supervising and monitoring the General Directorate of Technical Services and Computerization with regards to new buildings, the Office is also responsible for recommending strategies to deal with the already noted accessibility problems in the facilities of the Aristotle University, as well as supporting the legal entities and organizations supervised by the Aristotle University with regards to various accessibility matters (i.e. relevant legal framework, specifications, etc.).
In particular, according to the Certified Quality Management System EN ISO 9001:2008, which is employed by the General Directorate of Technical Services and Computerization, key responsibilities of the Office include:
1. Recording present accessibility problems and enabling disabled persons to access the facilities of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
2. Underlining the need to take administrative measures to improve accessibility, and submitting relevant proposals to the General Directorate of Technical Services and Computerization.
3. Monitoring and taking into consideration new studies with regards to accessibility specifications.
4. Monitoring the projects when carried out, with regards to the implementation of current accessibility specifications.
5. Examining the constructions with regards to accessibility specifications before they are delivered to public use.
6. Monitoring technological advances and legal developments with regards to accessibility, and informing the General Directorate of Technical Services and Computerization about their adoption and implementation by the services of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
7. Supporting the legal entities and organizations supervised by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with regards to accessibility matters.
8. Exchanging relevant information and data, and sharing know-how with the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports, as well as other national and international agencies.
9. Organizing workshops, distributing handouts, etc. with regards to accessibility and disability.