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for and by students studying with a disability and/or chronic illness

UvA IDEAs (previously: Student Disability Platform) is a platform run by students with a disability who are committed to creating an accessible and inclusive UvA.



IDEAs stands for Inclusivity, Disability, Equity, Accessibility for and by students. 

For many years, the platform has been passionately committed to creating an accessible and inclusive university, where every student is able to enjoy their studies and to succeed – regardless of their disability and/or chronic illness. The platform’s main activities include:

  • Creating awareness about studying with a disability and/or chronic disease. 
  • Informing and advising students and employees.
  • Safeguarding the interests of students with a disability and/or chronic illness through the UvA’s policy-making.
  • Improving the accessibility of university buildings.
  • Identifying potential problems regarding inclusiveness and accessibility.

The platform is also a point of contact for students with a disability and/or chronic illness who experience problems here at the UvA, thereby acting as a liaison between students and the university.

Who are we here for?

We are here to help all students who have a disability and/or chronic illness. Do you have a question about studying with a disability and/or chronic illness and are you not sure who to ask? Well, don’t worry – we are here to help! Do you enjoy meeting like-minded people to talk about inclusivity, equality and accessibility? Then UvA IDEAs is the place for you!

Remember: if you have questions about facilities, study programmes or other questions directly related to your studies and the facilities, you can contact your study adviser and, if necessary, a student counsellor. More information can be found on the page on studying with a disability.


The members of UvA IDEAs are:

  1. Maurits: History student. “I am particularly committed to improving physical accessibility. Besides my work and studies at the UvA, I write for Gaykrant and WijRollen.” Pronouns: he/him. 
  2. Demi: Student of Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies. Pronouns: she/her.

The IDEAs sounding board

We are conscious of the fact that the IDEAs team cannot represent the experiences of all students with a disability, chronic illness or other support need. As IDEAs wants to represent the interests of as many students as possible, and incorporate the opinions of as many students as possible in the projects we are working on, we have set up the IDEAs sounding board. Students are welcome to join!

What is the sounding board?

The sounding board is a WhatsApp group of students who have personal experience of studying with a disability and/or chronic illness or other support need, and who would like to use this experience to think about and discuss issues concerning accessible and inclusive education at the UvA.

The sounding-board has three main functions:

  • Students with first-hand experience: Thanks to the sounding board, UvA IDEAs has the chance to engage the expertise of students for various projects or issues concerning UvA policy. This ensures that the views of those who have first-hand experience are included in university policy-making regarding studying with a disability and/or chronic illness. 
  • Liaison between students and the university: The sounding board acts as liaison between students and the rest of the UvA. If students run into problems or have questions about accessible and inclusive education, they can raise them with the IDEAs team through the sounding board. The team can then make sure that these questions and problems reach the right people and organisations within the UvA. 
  • Connections: Finally, the sounding board is also a place where students can connect with each other and exchange experiences and ideas.

Participation in the sounding board is voluntary. Students are free to decide how much they want to contribute to the group, and which projects or issues they want to be involved in.

How can I join?

Interested in joining the sounding board? Then send an email to ideas-sts@uva.nl telling us a bit about yourself and explaining why you want to become a member. We’ll then add you to the WhatsApp group! The group mainly communicates in English due to the number of international students.