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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

Department Psychology of Education hosts an empowering workshop
2009-11-30

The Department of Psychology of Education at the University of the Free State (UFS), in partnership with the department of Inclusive Education (Xhariep district), recently held a workshop on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein to empower students, educators, departmental officials and parents to address the needs of learners diagnosed with Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as learners infected/affected by HIV/AIDS. Keynote speakers at this workshop included Dr Dawid Griessel (Paediatrics, UFS), Dr Annette Prins (Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development, UFS), Ms Santjie Vermaas (Occupational therapist, Motheo District Support Team) and Ms Jane Jarvis (Education Psychologist, specialising in ADHD).

The workshop, under the theme: “Empowering educators to cater for the diverse needs of learners in their classes”, was attended by more than 350. This first initiative has proved so successful that there have been countless requests for a follow-up workshop. At the workshop, from the left, front, were: Ms Santjie Vermaas (Occupational Therapist), Ms Sally York (Learning facilitator: Xhariep District) and Mr T.S. Tsipane (CES: Xhariep District). Back: Prof Johnnie Hay (Departmental Chairperson, Psychology of Education), Dr Dawid Griessel (Department of Paediatrics, UFS), Dr A. Prins (Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development ), Mr P.W. Terblanche (Chief Educational Specialist: Xhariep District), Dr Annalene van Staden (Department of Psychology of Education)
Photo: Mangaliso Radebe

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