The Groene Koepel foundation is actively involved in the implementation of the guiding principles of the UN treaty for people with disabilities, to improve the position of people with a disability. This is also about removing barriers which are experienced by people with disabilities when they wish to use regular tourist products. One of the types of facility where the range and accessibility for people with disabilities could be improved is the so called hiker cabin.
Nienke Steenbergen's research is a thorough, methodologically well designed and implemented study where multiple research methods support the findings and recommendations. Therefore the judges see it as a perfect example of a thesis which looks at an issue which is relevant to society and which emphasises themes such as societal entrepreneurship, sustainability and the prevention of social exclusion.
The thesis also matches Multatuli's philosophy: According to the Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau there are over one million people in The Netherlands with moderately or seriously reduced mobility, of this group 250,000 people depend on a wheelchair. Therefore Nienke's claim that this target should be able to fully partake in society, just like everyone else, is legitimate. This means that they should not run into any limitations regarding housing, consumption, recreation and much more.
The thesis is a good example of how theory can be combined with practical feasibility. The specific recommendations at the end of the research document encourage the client, De Groene Koepel foundation, to actually implement the accessibility of the facilities for people with disabilities.
The other nominees for the 2020 Studentprijs were:
- Jasmijn Wisse, Breda University of Applied Sciences
Elmina Castle: from slavery to tourisme – the meaning of the Elmina Castle from the eyes of Dutch tourists.
- Lili Broekhuysen, Breda University of Applied Sciences
Community-based tourism in Kwamhlanga, South-Africa
- Grayson van der Hijden, Breda University of Applied Sciences
Information management: From data to information in the social domain
- Britt van Leeuwen, Breda University of Applied Sciences
Social cohesion in Lombok (NL) and the influence of tourism
The judges were Anton van Kalmthout (chair, Tilburg University), Gertjan Endedijk (Nieuwe Veste) and Bart van den Bosch (Nederlandse Defensie Academie). For more information please visit www.multatuli-lezing.nl (in Dutch).