The Most Normal Thing in the World, studying with additional support needs now available in English

The Most Normal Thing in the World

We are delighted to inform you that the English translation of the Dutch publication "De normaalste zaak van de wereld" is now digitally available as “The Most Normal Thing in the World”. Earlier in November of 2022, it was officially handed over to member of the Executive Board, Mieke van den Berg and distributed to all employees during the New Years reception.

In connection based on personal encounters
This booklet was created through a collaboration between the Expertise Centre for Inclusive Education, the Education Policy department at Inholland (Irene Witteman and Nina van Doesburg), Art-Partner, students with additional support needs, and employees from all parts of the organization. The dialogues in the booklet are personal, vulnerable, open, and honest. They were not just ordinary conversations, but artistically directed and designed to mirror this both in imagery and text.

Personal and accessible
‘Being genuinely interested in each other, being able to empathize with others, asking questions and being willing to challenge our own assumptions is what "personal and accessible" means to us. As an inclusive university, everyone should feel safe enough to be themselves. Let's continue to have personal and close conversations about this with each other and with students. I hope that this publication creates more space for certain students’ Mieke van den Berg, member of the Executive Board. Mieke van den Berg, member of the Executive Board.

The Most Normal Thing in the World2

Everyone should be able to feel safe
"Developing and implementing policies for studying with support needs requires perseverance and the courage to keep naming that everyone matters. Together, we keep looking for an effective path within the education system. We can only do this in connection and on the basis of personal encounters. That is why this booklet is our starting point," Judith Jansen, ECIO, and Irene Witteman (Education Policy department).

Student Quotes:
“I hope this booklet is a step in the right direction when it comes to the cooperation/communication/interaction between an Inholland employee and a student.”

"I have never felt understood because many people did not know what it was like to be in my situation. Often, you do not understand yourself what is going on or how you feel because it is too much. That is precisely why I hope that this booklet can bring perspective, mutual respect, and understanding to all sides involved."

"Last week I had a situation with a teacher: "Other students have managed it, so you should be able to do it too?" This proves once again that there are still enough teachers who have no idea what studying with additional support needs really means."

Quote from a former student and policy officer:
"As a former student with an additional support need, I know better than anyone how you can run up against the complex school system. I have often said that it is important that you surround yourself with the right people, but it should not be necessary that you feel seen and heard only by a selective group. As an inclusive university, everyone should feel safe enough to be themselves because everyone belongs. This booklet breathes our core value: Personal and accessible, because at Inholland, you are not a number.’ Nina van Doesburg, policy officer.

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