The rector of the University of Iceland appoints 5 people to the Council for Disability Rights every three years, in keeping with Article 12 of the Regulation on disability services for study at the University of Iceland, no. 481/2010. The Equal Opportunities Officer of UI is the chairperson of the council. Other members are appointed from the Student Counselling and Careers Centre, the Construction Division of UI and the University Teachers and Professors Union, who must be specialized in the field of Disability studies. There is also a student representative appointed by the Student Union, who must fit the definition of special needs persons as stated in paragraph 1, Article 1, of the before mentioned regulation. The council is bound by laws regarding gender equality (law no. 10/2008, Article 15), which means that both genders must make up at least 40% of the council.
Each school within UI shall appoint a staff member who is is their liaison with the council. The same applies for the Division of Human Resources and each student organisation.
The Role of the Council for Disability Rights is to:
- Oversee issues concerning people with disabilities within UI as well as students with special needs, under mandate from the rector and University Council.
- Regularly review the policies of the university concerning people with disabilities.
- Prepare and follow the Equal Rights Policy concerning people with disabilities.
- Promote cooperation between those connected to disability issues, including the Student Counselling and Careers Centre, the Equal Rights Committee, the Division of Operations and Technical Services, along with various departments and schools at the university.
- Review and advise (as stated in Articles 14 and 15 of the Regulation on disability services) when requested by members of the university.
- Advise on the designing and planning of new buildings for the UI and make suggestions about improvements as needed. Also to make sure that access on campus is in compliance with policies regarding disability rights.
- Collect and publish a report on the situation of disabled people at the UI every three years.
- Initiate discussions and education about issues relating to disabilities within the university.
- Monitor developments and the situation of disability rights both within and outside the university, in Iceland and abroad, looking to ensure that disability rights are integrated to the UI.
The Council for Disability Rights follows research connected to disabilities within the university and also educates and releases information and reports on universal access within the UI. The council works in close connection with the Student Counselors and the Division of Operations and Technical Services. The council can seek advice from people both within and outside the university as needed.
The current Council for Disability Rights members, appointed from 2013-2016, are:
- Arnar Gíslason, Equal Opportunities Officer. Chairperson.
- Hanna Björg Sigurjónsdóttir, senior lecturer of Disability studies, appointed by the University Teachers and Professors Union.
- Ingólfur Aðalbjörnsson, head of the Construction Division, appointed by the Division of Operations and Technical Services.
- Hrafnhildur V. Kjartansdóttir, Careers and Guidance Counselor, appointed by the Student Counselling and Careers Centre.
- Unnur Hjaltadóttir, philosophy student, appointed by the Student Council.
Council meetings are held monthly.