Institution: University of Krakow
Name of the tool: KatPON System - Certification System for Disabled Students Friendly Department
Key actors: Students with special needs
Support office
State of the tool: Evaluated
Student's areas involved: Studying
Dealing with professor and administrative staff
Description of the tool:

This tool supports the educational process of students with disabilities at CUE. It has a significant impact on awareness raising among the academic community. It is highly innovative in the Polish context, in the sense that we are probably the first to develop such a system and implement it.

Main goals:

To make CUE more and more accessible for current and prospective students with disabilities

To make academics more aware of disability issues

To create a positive image of CUE as a University open to everyone

Participation in the Certification System is voluntary. The idea is to award those departments that are truly committed to supporting students with disabilities and thus encourage other departments to cooperate with us, and also to support students with disabilities.

Each year every department can apply for a certificate. Earning a certificate requires meeting certain criteria that are presented in the System regulations. If a department obtains a sufficient number of points, it will be awarded a two-year certificate. 

The idea is to urge departments to appoint a department plenipotentiary that could play an intermediary role between a given department and the Office for Students with Disabilities. It would facilitate information flow between the two units.

The basic assumptions of the Certification System are:

  • the basic system tool is a department self-assessment form based on the set of certain criteria
  • the decision to award a certificate is made upon the results of department self-assessment
  • the department self-assessment is done every two years

What is required from departments and department plenipotentiaries:

  • creation of favorable conditions for students with disabilities on the department level
  • appointment of the department plenipotentiary by the head of the department
  • keeping a record of activities towards supporting students with disabilities
  • completion and submission of the department self-assessment form in due time (department plenipotentiary)
  • ongoing cooperation with the Office for Students with Disabilities (department plenipotentiary)
  • ongoing cooperation with students with disabilities - beneficiaries of the educational offer of a department (Department Plenipotentiary for Students with Disabilities)


User manual:

The method of assessment and certification of departments

The final department assessment and decision of the Chapter are based on the results of the department self-assessments. The results are supplemented with the additional assessment done by the Office for Students with Disabilities (according to separate criteria).

Basic criteria:

  1. Percentage of members of the department who attended trainings on disability issues organised by the Office.
  2. Department Plenipotentiary for Students with Disabilities with the list of his/her actions

Complementary criteria

  1. Number of initiatives towards disabled students organised or coorganised by the department or student research group belonging to the department (e.g. lectures, discussion panels, workshops, conferences, open days etc.).
  2. Number of science and popular science texts on disability issues (books, articles in science magazines, online articles etc. ) written by members of the department.
  3. Accessibility within department (department premises, availability of information for disabled students e.g. on department’s website etc.).
  4. Extra office hours for disabled students.
  5. Adaptation of study materials to the needs of disabled students.
  6. Support offered to disabled students during exams.
  7. Participation of members of the department in events and initiatives towards disabled students organised by other units (e.g. lectures, discussion panels, conferences, open days etc.)
  8.  Participation of members of department in events and initiatives towards disabled students organised by the Office for Students with Disabilities
  9.  Other

Assessment rules

  • Assessment is based on two basic criteria and five complementary criteria chosen by departments,
  • Each criterion has a four-degree scale:
    • 1 point (basic level of activities),
    • 2 points (satisfactory level of activities),
    • 3 points (high level of activities),
    • 4 points (very high level of activities).
    • The points for basic criteria are doubled.
    • The maximum number of points at the first stage of assessment is 36 (16 points for basic criteria and 20 points for complementary criteria.  
    • The Office for Disabled Students can grant a department extra 4 points for outstanding performance and activities for disabled students.
    • When one department’s score is between 0-17 points, the Office for Students with Disabilities passes the recommendation to the Chapter that this department should not be awarded the certificate. The score between 18-36 points allows the Office for Students with Disabilities to pass the recommendation to the Chapter that this department should be awarded a certificate.
    • The Chapter may or may not take into consideration the Office’s recommendations; however, this must be justified on paper.
    • The Chapter’s decision to award or prolong the certificate is final and is not the subject to appeal. Negative decisions are communicated only to the heads of departments.
  • The Chapter consists of the authorities of CUE, CUE Plenipotentiary of Disabled Students, representative of the Office for Students with Disabilities, representative of Disabled Students Association.
Details of the tool: image/jpeg KatPON Certificate.JPG
Web page: