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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

University helps design new test of academic literacy for postgraduates
2012-09-04

The Inter-institutional Centre for Language Development and Assessment (ICELDA), of which the University of the Free State (UFS) is a founding partner, has secured a joint agreement with the Language Centre at the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands to design and develop another test of academic literacy for postgraduate students.

ICELDA is a partnership between four multilingual South African universities: Pretoria, Stellenbosch, North-West and Free State.

This design that ICELDA is coming up with will focus mainly on diagnostic purposes and follow in the footsteps of TALPS, the current test of academic literacy for postgraduate students at the four universities.

Prof. Albert Weideman, Head of the Department of English says TALPS has recently been the topic of a redesign and in-depth analysis undertaken by Colleen du Plessis, a junior lecturer in the Department of English for her master's dissertation. She is developing two further versions of it for ICELDA and the new project will involve Rebecca Patterson, who will do her long assignment for honours on the diagnostic value of the current test. A former doctoral student of the Department English Tobie van Dyk will be the project leader.

“The rationale for the project is that one can no longer take the academic literacy levels of postgraduate students for granted. We wish the investigating and development team that Tobie will put together, every success.”
 

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