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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

Department arranges special excursion for disabled students
2008-11-26

 

The unique circumstances of students with disabilities often make it difficult for them to attend educational excursions of the Department of Communication and Information Studies. A special excursion was thus arranged for them to the National Museum in Bloemfontein. Work was recently done to make the museum more accessible for persons with disabilities. A lift was installed and exhibitions are equipped with Braille. Many exhibitions are equipped with sound and visitors can also make use of audio players.

Mr Tebogo Mohlakane, educational officer from the National Museum, and a team of well-trained museum guides welcomed the 13 students that were accompanied by Ms Elbie Lombard and other members of the department with open arms. Each student received special attention to make it an unforgettable experience.

Estine Smith, a first-year student with visual impairments, summarised her experience of a stuffed predatory bird which she held in her arms, as awesome. Touching replicas of elephants, rhinos and giraffes was the highlight of Shaun Jooste, a third-year student with visual impairments’ experience. Until recently it was difficult for Tshidiso Molehe to visit the museum with his wheelchair. He is now satisfied with the accessibility of the museum and is looking forward to his next visit to the museum. 
 

Disabled students during their visit to the National Museum.
 
 
 

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