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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.

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International students welcomed

 Photo: Linda Fekisi

The International Affairs portfolio of the Student Representative Council (SRC) hosted a welcoming session for international first-entry students at the Bloemfontein Campus.

Tumelo Moreri, SRC member: International Affairs, said there are approximately 2 000 international students who are registered at the university. The students come from 46 countries around the world, not just from Africa.

In her welcoming speech, Tumelo urged the students to apply to the Student Council. “Your presence on this campus has to be felt as international students.”

Director of the Office for International Affairs, Mrs Dineo Gaofhiwe-Ingram, was among the speakers at the event. She advised students to realise the importance of being at the University of the Free State and urged them to interact and be part of student life. The overall message was to engage in the various structures the varsity has to offer. Mrs Gaofhiwe-Ingram told them not be silent, but that their voices should be heard as they also form an important part of the Kovsie family.

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