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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

A beauty pageant with a difference
2013-09-06

Miss Legatum 2013, Kedibone Ndweni, after her crowning.
6 September 2013
Foto: Linda Fekisi

House Legatum recently hosted its first beauty pageant, Miss Legatum. This pageant, which was like no other ever seen on Kovsie grounds, gave a new definition to the word beauty. With a panel of judges made up of blind students from the Unit for Students with Disabilities (USD) at the University of the Free State, the search was on for a woman with inner beauty.

The guest speaker at the event was Vicki Fourie, Miss Deaf SA 2009 and first princess of Miss Deaf International 2010. Vicki shared how she lost 97% of her hearing ability, her struggles in high school and how she was able to move past all of that.

Judging was solely based on the answers the contestants gave. Out of the beautiful and proficient women who entered, Kedibone Ndweni from House ConLaurês walked away with the title Miss Legatum 2013.

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