15 Feb 2023

Tomáš Varga: Supporting mobility across the ability spectrum

Tomáš Varga: Supporting mobility across the ability spectrum


Issues of inclusion, diversity and equity continue to be top of mind for many higher education institutions across Europe and elsewhere. There are still quite a number of challenges to overcome when looking at this particular part of the student and staff population, for example linked to reaching international students with disabilities, providing them with the correct services, and collecting valuable data to help influence future institutional strategy and policy.

In this podcast episode, we are able to take a look inside at the Teiresias Centre, a support centre for students with special needs, established in 2000 at Masaryk University, Czechia. The centre’s primary task is to provide maximum accessibility to all accredited degree programmes at Masaryk University for the visually impaired, the deaf and hearing impaired, people with limited or restricted mobility and people with other types of disabilities.

But how exactly is the centre able to support international students with disabilities? What are some of the key achievements the centre has achieved, and what exactly are the challenges that continue to face internationally mobile students and staff? How much of a struggle is, for example, data collection in this particular context? We talk to Tomáš Varga, Mobility Coordinator for Students with Special Needs & Student Services Advisor at Masaryk University. Be sure to take a listen to find out more!

Special note: Masyark University was the 2022 EAIE Award winner for Excellence in Internalisation, for the exceptional work done by its MUNI HELPS volunteer centre.

About Tomáš Varga

Tomáš Varga graduated from Masaryk University in 2016 in English Philology and English Language Teaching with a specialisation in African American (popular) culture. Throughout his studies, complemented by a Cambridge CELTA course, he has developed a set of communication skills that have helped him in fulfilling the tasks at the Support Centre for Students with Special Needs (Teiresias Centre). He first joined the Centre in 2013 as an external employee entrusted with the adaptation of study materials (mainly mathematics and informatics) into an accessible format. Since 2019, he has been a full-time employee in the Studies Section responsible for coordinating services for students with special needs at the Faculty of Arts, mobility for incoming and outgoing students, and organising MUST Week as well as other (study) visits at the Teiresias Centre.

Additional resources

For further insights into the topics touched on in this episode, the following resources may be of interest:

→ Teiresias Centre website & podcast

→ Breaking down barriers to make physical mobility possible for all

→ No one left behind: increasing access for all students

→ Karol Vieker & Malaika Marable Serrano: Let’s talk about discrimination


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