Meet&Map! Besançon

Group picture of the participants of Meet&Map! event in Besançon

The first of a series of four Meet & Map events of the network ESN took place in Besançon on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 March.

For the occasion, the local association had developed an important partnership with the CROUS of Besançon, a regional organisation helping students with accommodation, catering, and grants, to welcome the 30 expected participants. Thanks to the involvement of other partners such as the Bureau de la Vie Etudiante (an entity of the University to offer services and activities to students), the University Library or the University of Franche-Comté (STAPS), the entire event took place at the La Bouloie Campus.

The event started on Thursday during a meal at the university restaurant. Around 2 pm the participants went to the Student House for an afternoon of workshops on mobility for all and the inclusion of people with disabilities proposed by Luismi, Spanish trainer sent by ESN International. Luismi has been an local active member from ESN Valencia en UV, a NEC Committee member and a Eduk8 trainer for several years now.

After explaining the MappED! project and discussing experiences participants had with disability, they learned a few tricks on how to pay more attention in order to be more disability-friendly, especially with communication. Participants were then invited to go to the Campus Hosts Room for a buffet/debate on accessibility and what ESN could do to improve its services toward people with disabilities and in the company of institutional partners of Besançon: the SUMMPS, a faculty service focused on medicine and the CROUS.

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The second and final day of the event took place in a campus room with a welcome breakfast followed by a presentation by our partner of the event, Jaccède, an association that identifies the accessibility of the venues on an smartphone and web application. Participants were then divided into small groups of 4 or 6, sometimes with a participant in a wheelchair, and they went to one of the five "student" areas previously selected. The Mapping activity lasted an hour and a half and forced the participants to travel by bus, by car or on foot in conditions not always accessible to the participants in wheelchairs, and the scenario was optimal: the person in wheelchair did not leave it a second and the people around had to play the game!

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The event ended sitting in the sun outside, discussing the activity and how they felt about this experience. It was a very warm and friendly moment for everyone.

Participants were invited to repeat the experience when they walk, go to work or just go home. Everyone can map and make places more accessible adding information on the app’.