On 9th November 2016, CeDR welcomed visitors from Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) in Russia. They were:
- Professor Leonid Kapilevich, Doctor of medicine, Department of Sports Disciplines
- Professor Natalia Lukianova, Doctor of philosophy, head of department of )social communication
- Dr Ksenia Davletyarova, Assistant prof, Department of Physical Training
- Dr Elena Rogotneva, Assistant of prof, Department of social communication.
- Dr Elena Fell. TPU.
The visiting scholars presented the areas of research that they are working on, their aim being to increase the amount of disabled students who enrol with and graduate from TPU. A major challenge for disabled people in Siberia is the weather, although slippery conditions are a problem for everyone, Professor Kapilevich and Dr Davletyarova discussed technologies that can help disabled people overcome these conditions and travel independently. Professor Lukianova discussed using theories of embodiment and philosophy of environment as a way to challenge the disparity of graduation levels between disabled and non-disabled students. Dr Rogotneva talked about the sociological challenges that disabled students face, barriers to equal opportunities such as the need to align curriculums between schools for disabled students with mainstream schools, and attitudinal issues on behalf of the teaching staff.
On behalf of Lancaster University, staff members with interests in Disability Studies gave presentations about their own research. Colleagues from the Department of Educational Research, Dr Ann-Marie Houghton (teaching fellow), and Dr Jo Armstrong (Research Associate) presented their research projects aimed at inclusive higher education. They spoke about the role of virtual learning environments and how to harness technology to support inclusion, and the benefits to all students of adopting an inclusive approach across the student lifecycle.
In the afternoon, the visitors from TPU attended a workshop at Lancaster House Hotel with Dr Houghton, and spent some time on campus viewing the inclusive initiatives that Lancaster University is developing. Professor Carol Thomas, who was the main organiser of the visit, thanked the visitors, presenters, early career researchers and PhD students for coming and commented that it had been an extremely interesting collaboration.