Decenber 22, 2021. The CERMI celebrates the court decision validating the enrolment of a visually impaired university student, Cristina de Diego / 22 de diciembre de 2021. El Cermi celebra la decisión judicial que da validez a la matrícula de la estudiante universitaria con discapacidad Cristina de Diego
English translation of the news
The CERMI celebrates the court decision validating the enrolment of a visually impaired university student, Cristina de Diego.
Wednesday December 22nd, 2021, the Spanish Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities (known in Spanish as CERMI) lauded the court decision validating the enrolment of the student Cristina de Diego in the dual degree in Fine Arts and Tourism of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid.
This news was given by the CERMI after the case was settled, which took three years of contentious-administrative proceedings. The Universidad Rey Juan Carlos was mandated by the Court of the Contencioso-Administrativo number 21 of Madrid to comply with the judgement and recognise the validity of the student’s enrolment in the dual degree.
The final judgement allowed Cristina de Diego, a blind woman with a 78 % legal disability (1) to enrol in the 3rd year four-monthly courses of the dual degree in Fine Arts and Tourism, a possibility that was denied by the university when they voided her enrolment during the academic year of 2018/19. This final judgement also obliges the university to offset six errors in her marks.
According to the CERMI, what’s most important about this verdict is that “this is a case where a visually impaired woman’s rights have prevailed, which is, at the end of the day, a triumph for the collective as a whole.”
In 2018, the vice chancellor of Student Affairs of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos voided Cristina’s enrolment in the dual degree in Fine Arts and Tourism, even though she had applied to be admitted two years before, and was, indeed, admitted. Her reasoning was that Cristina “was already a Tourism graduate.”
Cristina said, “I think that there are few people with a severe visual impairment that would dare to study a dual degree in Fine Arts and Tourism. I’m one of them, and it hasn’t been easy at all.”
She was never told by the university that it wasn’t possible to enrol in the dual degree because she had already graduated in Tourism. It wasn’t until she realised that six of her marks had been downgraded and asked for them to be corrected that the issue came up. Two weeks later, she was notified that her enrolment in the dual degree had been voided, even though she had followed the established procedure for enrolment, course validation, and exams.
Given that the university regulations on dual degrees didn’t forbid alumni from studying the dual degree after they had graduated from one of them, Cristina filed an appeal, which was dismissed by the university dean.
The Court declared that the decision made by the vice chancellor of Student Affairs in 2018 was illegitimate. Then, the university appealed to the Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Madrid, which holds the highest judiciary in the community, and the student was proven right a second time.
Thus, the Court 21 made its final judgement and validated Cristina’s enrolment in the dual degree. The CERMI insists that work in this field is still necessary to protect “the rights of people with disabilities.”
To this news, Cristina de Diego adds:
“While the New York University invites me to give a speech as a blind painter who has proven that painting can be accessible to visually impaired people (Broadway, 12/09/2021, https://crisdediego.es/2021/09/17/cris-talk-to-new-york-university-09-12-2021-charla-de-cris-para-la-universidad-de-nueva-york-12-09-2021/), the dean of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos decided to void my enrolment when I was already in my sophomore year of the dual degree in Fine Arts and Tourism, and having very high marks., thanks to my effort and the inclusive attitude of my excellent teachers at the URJC
I had to sue the URJC because I wanted to move forward in my education. The Law has proven me right, validating my enrolment and my rights to continue my studies. I think of this verdict as a victory against evil, and I believe that my work is good for the visually impaired, but also for society as a whole. Check my work at crisdediego.es!
(1) Spanish law considers disability equal to or greater than 70% to be a very serious disability
Noticia en español
Law Degree from Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia in 2000 / Título de Licenciada en Derecho de la Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia en el año 2000
Tourism Degree from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in 2016 / Título de Graduada en Turismo por la Universidad Rey Juan Carlos en el año 2016
Average marks in Tourism, Outstanding – 9.04/10 / Notas del Grado en Turismo (sobresaliente 9,04 / 10)
May 18, 2018: Winner of the Best Student´s Award in the Tourism Degree course / 18 de mayo de 2018: Ganadora del Premio Extraordinario Fin de Grado en Turismo
Video award ceremony / Vídeo del acto de entrega
Enrollment of the first year of the Double Degree in Fine Arte and Tourism 2017 / Matrícula del primer curso del Doble Grado en Bellas Artes y Turismo 2017
Marks of the first year of the Double Degree in Fine Arte and Tourism 2017 / Notas del primer curso en el Doble Grado en Bellas Artes y Turismo 2017
Year 1 Art History – Notable – 8/10, Shape, Colour and Light Analysis – Outstanding – 9/10, Painting, Techniques and Materials – Merit of Honor – 9/10, Aesthetics – Merit of Honor – 10/10, Drawing, Techniques and Materials – Notable – 8/10
Enrollment of the second year of the Double Degree in Fine Arte and Tourism 2018 / Matrícula del segundo curso del Doble Grado en Bellas Artes y Turismo 2018
Currently studying a Double Degree in Tourism and Fine Arts ( Year 2 ) in Universidad Rey Juan Carlos.
Título de Técnico Auxiliar Especialista en Protocolo y Relaciones Institucionales
B2 Certification from Cork English College, Co. Cork, Ireland 2016
First Level in English from the Official School of Languages, Madrid, Spain 1999
First Level in Italian from the Official School of Languages, Madrid, Spain 2000
Advanced Level in Italian from Studio Italia, Rome, Italy 1998
A1.2 Certification in German from University Language Centre, Madrid 2017
Other Awards: Spanish Blind People´s Organization (ONCE) Award in Recognition of High Academic Results 2017 / Otros premios: Premio ONCE por reconocimiento de resultados académicos
Other courses and advice as a volunteer to EU museums / Otros cursos y asesoramiento como voluntaria a museos de la UE