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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

Sarah, our own champion
2008-11-05

 
Sarah Shannon at the Paralympic Games in Beijing

 

Sarah Shannon, a second-year student in the Postgraduate Certificate in Education, has been involved in disability sport on national level for the past 12 years. Sarah has cerebral palsy.

In 1996 she participated at the South African National Championships for the physically disabled for the first time, entering for several sporting codes and winning five gold medals. In swimming she participates in the S3 class together with other swimmers that have comparable abilities to hers.

In 1997 she decided to focus on swimming competitively. She participated in her first national championships for swimming that year. After that (1998) she represented South Africa on international level at the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Swimming World Championships in New Zealand where she ended 4th in the 50m backstroke and 7th in both the 50m and 100m freestyle in her class.

In 1999 she represented South Africa in Johannesburg at the 7th All Africa Games and won a silver medal for the 50m freestyle and a bronze medal for the 100m freestyle.

In 2000 she was part of the South African team at the Sydney Paralympic Games where she reached the finals and finished 7th in the 50m backstroke and 8th in the 50m freestyle. Northern-KwaZulu-Natal also awarded her the Junior Sportswoman of the Year award in 2001. In 2002 she participated at the South African Senior National swimming championships for KwaZulu-Natal in the multi-disability category.

In 2005 she completed the Midmar Mile. She also represented South Africa at the world championships for athletes with cerebral palsy in Boston in the United States of America. She won two gold medals for respectively the 50m freestyle and the 50m backstroke and two silver medals in the 100m and 200m freestyle. She was also nominated to represent South Africa as athlete’s representative on the world committee of CPISRA (Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association). In this year Sarah also received the KwaZulu-Natal Premier’s Sportswoman with a disability award of the year.

In 2006 she qualified for the IPC world championships but could not attend.

In 2007 she represented South Africa once more at the Visa Paralympic World Cup in Manchester in the United Kingdom where she broke the South African record in the 50m backstroke, finishing 7th in the 50m freestyle and 6th in the 50m backstroke.

She was also part of the very successful Team South Africa to the Paralympic Games in Beijing. She reached the finals in both the 50m backstroke and 50m freestyle. She finished 7th in the 50m freestyle and 6th in the 50m backstroke in personal best times for both events. She has been participating in the able bodied South African National Swimming Championships since 2002. She is currently ranked 2nd in the world for short course items and 11th for the long course items. She is truly our best swimmer in the S3 class.
 

 

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