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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

“To interpret is more than the ability to have mastered two languages”
2014-03-27

 

It is equally unfair to the accused as the victim when an untrained court interpreter is used in a court case.

In South Africa there are currently a large percentage of interpreters employed by the Department of Justice without any formal training.

While interpreting is in reality a very complex subject, the general acceptance is that everybody who is able speak two languages or more can be an interpreter.

This perception harms interpreting as a profession, as it results in most institutions appointing any multilingual person as an interpreter.

In many cases people are used to interpret into and from their third or fourth language (of which Afrikaans is one). This leads to inaccuracy and the incorrect use of expressions and terminology. Specific cognitive processes also have to be developed and practiced.

The University of the Free State (UFS) has since 2008 trained approximately 200 court interpreters in South Africa. This training includes the theory of interpreting and practical exercises, as well as the development of terminology and a basic knowledge of the legal system in South Africa.

The training provided to court interpreters by the Unit for Language Management and Facilitation, is done in conjunction with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and SASSETA (Safety and Security).

Apart from Afrikaans, native speakers of all South African languages are included in the training.

Much attention (rightfully) are given to interpreters who can interpret between the nine African languages and (mostly) English, but in the process the development of interpreters between Afrikaans and English was neglected, as became apparent in the past two weeks during the Oscar Pistorius case.


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