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19 March 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Thabo Kessah
Thokozile Thulo
Thokozile Thulo says the UFS has changed its focus in supporting students with disabilities.

The Centre for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) has recently opened a permanent office on the Qwaqwa Campus The centre aims to ensure that the University of the Free State increasingly becomes a universally accessible higher-education institution which embraces students with various disabilities.

Thokozile Thulo, CUADS Assistant Officer at Qwaqwa said: “Our focus has changed from ‘special’ accommodation for individuals to the creation of a learning environment that is welcoming and empowering to all students. Integrated learning and education methodologies and processes are being researched and developed to create more awareness among lecturing staff. This incorporates universal design, faculty instruction and curricula.” 

The CUADS office assists students to gain access to study courses, learning materials, various buildings and residences, computer facilities and specialised exams and tests. For visually-impaired students, study material and textbooks in Braille, audio, e-text or enlarged format are provided. 

The office also supports students with various psychosocial and chronic conditions such as epilepsy and panic disorder, as well as learning difficulties such as dyslexia and hyperactivity. “In addition, we support students with special arrangements such as extra time for tests and exams,” said Thokozile.



News Archive

Rev Jaftha heads interim steering committee on community engagement
2008-11-20

 
The group that attended the first meeting of the proposed National Community Engagement Managers’ Forum.
 Delegates, representing 13 higher educations institutions (HEIs) across South Africa, attended the first meeting of the proposed National Community Engagement Managers’ Forum in Stellenbosch.

Prof. Julian Smith, Vice-Rector: Community Interaction and Personnel of the Stellenbosch University (SU) delivered the keynote address “Consolidating community engagement at South African universities”. In his address he referred to the following: particularities of managing community service (CS) at HEIs, general management areas applicable to CS, the international and national impulses that pertain to CS, concepts and terminology and the lessons learnt, particularly in the case of SU.

Prof. Priscilla Daniels delivered a presentation on the Community-Higher Education-Services-Partnership (CHESP) initiative of the Joint Education Trust (JET) Education Services, as an important intervention in South African universities to support service-learning over the past ten years. Delegates had an opportunity to share their approaches to community service and community service learning as well as their challenges.

Steps were taken towards the establishment of a national forum for Community Engagement Managers. Issues that were discussed were the purpose, strategy, structure, relationship to other national and international structures as well as funding for community engagement initiatives at HEIs.

An interim steering committee, with Rev Kiepie Jaftha, Chief Director Community Service at the University of the Free State (UFS) as the convener, was elected to take the process further. The next meeting of the forum will be held at the UFS towards the end of March 2009.
 

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