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25 April 2019 | Story Mamosa Makaya

Since 2016, the University of the Free State Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) has received a grant from First National Bank worth R2 498 000, which supports tertiary bursaries for students with disabilities. Bursary holders are funded through CUADS, as the administrator of the bursaries.
  
These are students enrolled for various academic programmes who require academic assistance and/or assistive devices such as electronic handheld magnifiers, laptops, and hearing aids. The FNB grant also covers tuition, accommodation, study material and books, and meals.  The success of the grant is already evident, with one of the recipients having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in December 2018. A second student was capped at the April 2019 graduations with a BSc Honours in Quantity Surveying.
 
Supporting the principles of the ITP

The UFS received the grant from FNB in instalments, starting in the 2016 academic year to date, supporting the needs of 40 disabled students. This grant and the work of CUADS speaks to and supports the principles of the Integrated Transformation Plan (ITP), namely inclusivity, transformation, and diversity. The vision of the Universal Access work stream is to enable the UFS to create an environment where students with disabilities can experience all aspects of student life equal to their non-disabled peers. The ITP provides for the recognition of the rights of people with disabilities as an important lesson in social justice and an opportunity to reinforce university values.

The successful administration of the grant to benefit past and present students is a ‘feather in the cap’ of CUADS, and is a shining example of the impact of public private investment and the endless possibilities that open up when there is a commitment to developing future leaders in academic spaces, allowing them to thrive by creating a learning environment that is welcoming and empowering. 



News Archive

Largest number of CUADS graduates at UFS
2017-07-03

Description: Largest number of CUADS graduates 2017 Tags: Largest number of CUADS graduates 2017

During the mid-year graduation ceremonies at the
University of the Free State (UFS), the Centre for
Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) saw
the largest number of students with disabilities graduating.
Photo: Johan Roux

During the mid-year graduation ceremonies at the University of the Free State (UFS), the Centre for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) saw the largest number of students with disabilities graduating.

For the first time since being established in February 2001, a total number of 30 students graduated, of which seven were postgraduate students.

Accomplishing your dreams as a student
Martie Miranda, Head of CUADS, says that one cannot help but become emotional with joy and happiness. “The feeling of satisfaction we feel with the graduates is so valuable, because it’s a reminder of their abilities to accomplish their dreams just like any other student.”

CUADS aims to ensure that the UFS creates opportunities for students with disabilities, aiming to become a higher-education institution recognised for its efforts in human reconciliation. Together with the Exam Division, CUADS coordinates alternative assessment with an accessible test and examination facility housed at CUADS. This accommodates students with concessions, amanuensis, specialised equipment, and accessible formatted papers.

Changing the challenges you experience
Miranda continuously encourages students to keep going. “If being successful is important to you, you will find a way to change the challenges you experience into opportunities. Either to learn something about yourself or teach someone else something.”

Below are the number of graduates from each faculty:
•    Faculty of Law: 2
•    Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences: 4
•    Faculty of Education: 4
•    Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science: 9
•    Faculty of the Humanities: 11

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