Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

Researcher in Otorhinolaryngology advocates education in deafness and hearing loss
2015-12-17

Description: Dr Magteld Smith  Tags: Dr Magteld Smith

Dr Magteld Smith

The annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities falls on 3 December. Statistics reveal that 7.5% of the South African population suffer from some form of physical disability.

More than 17 million people in South Africa are dealing with depression, substance abuse, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia - illnesses that round out the top five mental health diagnoses, according to the Mental Health Federation of South Africa. The South African Federation for Mental Health is the umbrella body for 17 mental health societies and numerous member organisations throughout the country.

On disability, world-renowned author Helen Keller, who was both deaf and blind, once said that the problems that come with being deaf are deeper and more complex than those of blindness, and is a much worse misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus - the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir, and keeps us in the intellectual company of man.

According to Dr Magteld Smith, lecturer and researcher in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the University of the Free State (UFS), hearing loss of any degree at any age can have far-reaching psychological and sociological implications which affect an individual’s day-to-day functioning, and might prevent him or her from reaching their full potential. She says that even though advancements have been made in aiding deaf persons, there’s still considerable room for improvement. She’s making it her mission to bring about changing the stigmatisation around deafness, and the different choices of rehabilitation.

Dr Smith was born with bilateral (both ears) severe hearing loss, and became profoundly deaf, receiving a cochlear implant in 2008. Not letting this hinder her quality of life, she matriculated in 1985 at a School for the Deaf in Worcester. Today she is the only deaf medical-social researcher in South Africa.

Her research focuses on all aspects of deafness and hearing loss. Through first-hand experience, she knows that a loss of hearing can be traumatic as it requires adjustments in many areas of life which affect a person’s entire development. However, she has not let her deafness become a stumbling block. She has become the first deaf South African to obtain two Master’s degrees and a PhD, together with various other achievements.

Her work is aimed at informing and educating people in the medical profession, parents with children, and persons with various degrees and types of hearing loss about the complexities of deafness and hearing loss. She believes that, with the technological advancements that have been made in the world, deaf people can become self-sufficient and independent world changers with much to contribute to humanity.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept