Following a week of tandem activities all aimed at raising awareness regarding the growing population of under-represented autistic students at the University of Malta, KSU closed off their campaign by recapitulating the events of the week.
The “Connect and Include” campaign was aimed at integrating autistic students and helping them feel more welcomed into the student body of the University of Malta.
A press launch was held on the 22nd of March to launch the ‘Connect and Include’ campaign, in which the events of the following week were introduced.
Later that week, on the 26th of March, a focus group was organized in the morning, with the aid of the Faculty of Social Wellbeing as well as Dr Andrew Azzopardi and Dr Allistair deGaetano, to discuss a safe space for students to discuss autism
That same day, the ‘Light It Up Blue’ campaign was launched alongside its ambassadors – The Marigold Foundation, of which Mrs Michelle Muscat is the chairperson – by lighting Student House up in blue.
On the 29th of March: ‘See the Ability’ was held. This entailed a VoxPop held as a combined effort between Dr Allistair deGaetano and the Social Policy Office. This served to educate students on campus about autism and clear up any misconceptions with regards to this subject. Later that evening, an Autism Awareness Talk was held in order to provide further insight on the issue, and spread as much awareness as possible.
Monday 1st April, the last day of the campaign started off with A Human Library – wherein many stands were organised, and where different NGOs and entities provided information to all those interested in learning about autism.
KSU’s Social Policy Office also headed a survey in which information regarding the accessibility of university grounds to autistic students was assessed. It was found that, among others, the pathway from Quadrangle to IT services, as well as that in Gateway were particularly problematic.
KSU ended the ceremony by thanking all those who participated in the campaign, particularly the KSU President Carla Galea, as well as KSU’s Administrative Secretary Daniela Fitzpatrick, Christian Aquilina and Petra Grech who both form KSU’s social policy office. They also thanked Erasmus+ and EUPA for funding the campaign.
They also thanked all students who took part in the surveys and VoxPop. Most importantly, they thanked the autistic members of university; students, parents and professionals alike whose input was pivotal to the entire campaign.