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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

UFS Law Clinic launches Access to Justice Cluster in the Eastern Free State
2010-05-13

In order to initiate support services for various paralegal associations in the Eastern Free State, the Law Clinic at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently launched the Free State Access to Justice Cluster. The cluster that is funded by Atlantic Philanthropists is managed by the UFS Law Clinic as part of their community engagement initiatives.

The overall objective of the cluster is to increase access to justice to rural and indigent communities in the region. Furthermore, quality legal services will be provided to all individuals and groups whose fundamental rights have been abused; the professional capacity of paralegals will be improved; and workshops will be facilitated to inform communities regarding their rights and duties to empower them.

Adv. Inez Bezuidenhout from the UFS Law Clinic says, “The clinic envisages reaching the aforesaid objectives through the provision of support legal services; providing training, assisting with the dissemination of information and lobbying for a stronger and an expanded network of stakeholders in the access to justice arena.”

This initial meeting, attended by various delegates from the Eastern Free State region, was mainly geared towards the identification of challenges and to establish solutions to the problems experienced by paralegals in the provision of legal services in rural communities.

“The cluster is a non-governmental organisation independent of any political party or religious affiliation. It comprises different organisations all aimed at assisting indigent community members with access to justice,” says Adv. Bezuidenhout.

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