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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

Students excel at National Championships for the Physically Disabled
2013-04-07

 

South African record-holder Danie Breitenbach (left) running with his guide at the 2013 Nedbank National Championships for the Physically Disabled.
Photo: Hetsie Veitch
10 April 2013

Six gold, one silver and two bronze medals. That is the number of medals students of the University of the Free State won at the 2013 Nedbank National Championships for the Physically Disabled, held in Pretoria. 

Louzanne Coetzee, Danie Breitenbach, Juanré Jenkinson and Diederich Kleynhans held the Kovsie flag high, winning medals in track and field events. Louzanne and Danie, both visually-impaired students, each won three gold medals, with Danie setting two new South African track records. Danie, who took part in the T11/F11 sports class for visually-impaired, totally blind athletes, set records in the 800 and 1 500 metre track events. This first-year BA student, who runs with a guide and has to wear a blindfold when running, also won a gold medal in the 400-metre track event. 
 
Louzanne also took part in the T11/F11 sports class and won gold medals in the 800-, 1 500- and 5 000-metre events. With her winning time of 2 minutes and 53,8 seconds in the 800 metres, Louzanne, a second-year BA Corporate and Marketing Communication student, reached the qualifying standard for international participation. She may be considered for a national team that will compete internationally. 
 
Diederich and Juanré took part in the F37 and F38 sports class for physically-impaired athletes and won medals in the field events. Juanré, a fourth-year Education student, and Diederich, a master’s degree Theology student, won bronze and silver medals in shotput. Diederich also won a bronze medal in discus. 
 
Also taking part in the national championships, were Sidwell Monyane, a final-year B Public Management (Human Resource Management) student. Sidwell was part of the Free State Boccia team. Boccia is a target-ball sport for athletes with disabilities, which has a major impact on motor skills.

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