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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

Staff attended Language Congress
2005-08-17

Ten staff members and students of the University of the Free State (UFS) recently attended the annual Language Congress of South Africa at the University of Pretoria (UP).

At the congress the prize for the best first paper delivered at a linguistics conference was awarded to Ms Susan Lombaard from the  Unit for Language Facilitation and Empowerment (ULFE) at the UFS for her paper titled ”Translation from one medium to another: The translation of Biblical parts into South African Sign Language”. 

This is the first time that a member of the UFS has been awarded this prize at a linguistics congress, and it is also the first time that the prize has been awarded for a paper dealing with Sign Language. 

Some of the UFS staff members who attended the congress are standing from left Mr Philemon Akach, lecturer at the Department of Afro-asiatic Studies and Language Practice and Sign Language; Prof  Theo du Plessis, Director: ULFE; Prof Jakkie Naudé, from the Department of Afro-asiatic Studies and Language Practice and Sign Language and Prof Alf Jenkinson, from the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French.

In the front from left are Ms Stephanie Cawood, from the Department of Afro-asiatic Studies and Language Practice and Sign Language; Dr Angelique van Niekerk, from the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French and Ms Susan Lombaard, from the ULFE.

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