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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

Babies need time on their tummies
2009-08-07

 
Babies who spend more time on their tummies (in the prone position) when they are awake are more advanced in their motor development than children who are not allowed to lie on their tummies, or only for short periods, shows research published by Ms Dorothy Russell in the South African Journal of Occupational Therapy. Ms Russell is a senior occupational therapist in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health in the Faculty of Heath Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS). The study shows there were significant differences in the active movements of the arms and the pushing-up on the arms between prone and non-prone infants.

She says research and clinical evidence indicate that parents are not well educated regarding the value of placing their infants in the prone position during the early stages of infancy. The supine position where babies lie on the backs, leads to a decrease in the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and mothers steer away of putting their babies in the prone position because of that. However, lack of exposure to prone position can result in deceased opportunities to learn functions such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling and pulling to the standing position.
Photo: Leatitia Pienaar

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