Digital accessibility gives people with a temporary or permanent disability access to information and the opportunity to fully participate in society. This is why we made accessibility for people with disabilities a main priority when we redesigned our website in 2016. It was a major challenge, because the WU website has to provide information for a wide variety of target groups ranging from students, researchers, and staff members all the way to potential students and the general public. This makes the website both complex and extensive.
In 2021, WU was subject to a strict, comprehensive audit. We are pleased and proud that our work has been rewarded with the WACA (Web Accessibility Certificate Austria) certification in bronze. The Web Accessibility Certificate Austria is Austria’s only seal of quality for digital accessibility. It is awarded to organizations in recognition of particularly high standards in web accessibility.
COVID-19 Vaccination Center
In order to contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and to give our students and employees easy access to the COVID-19 vaccination, we provided the City of Vienna with premises to set up a public vaccination center directly on Campus WU. Around 500 students, employees, area residents, and visitors took advantage of the offer and were vaccinated at the beginning of the 2020/21 academic year.
In 2021, 130 WU students volunteered for the “Lernen macht Schule” initiative and helped 260 socially disadvantaged kids and teens with their schoolwork. This is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many of the kids from poor backgrounds had a particularly hard time with homeschooling and distance learning. They often live in cramped apartments and don’t have the necessary technical equipment, and many parents can’t provide the support kids need to be successful in school.
The program isn’t all work and no play, however. In the second year of the pandemic, learning buddies were able to meet up with the kids face to face again for recreational activities. In the winter semester 2020/21, for example, the kids attended a soccer game, and, as a particular highlight, visited the zoo on the grounds of Schönbrunn palace. Everyone, kids and learning buddies alike, had a great time.
Our students were also active as music buddies again last year. They took part in choir practice with 20 children between the ages of six and twelve. Choir practice was held mainly online, however, due to the pandemic.