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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 grooms future leaders
2013-02-28

Nangamso Koza, volunteers and learners who participated in the RCL training programme.
Photo: Linda Fekisi
28 February 2013

The UFS recently hosted a group of Representative Council of Learners (RCL) from 24 high schools in the Free State. The learners participated in a RCL training programme, the first of its kind, which will take place on a quarterly basis.

The learners were welcomed by Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the university. Prof Jansen emphasised the need for academic excellence in his welcoming speech, telling learners not to settle for a pass rate of 30%. He motivated them to study hard in order to reap rewards, regardless of their disadvantaged backgrounds. He told them about first-year student, Zandile Kwela and others, who excelled in the 2012 matric exams despite disadvantaged backgrounds.

Nangamso Koza, Research Assistant in the office of the Vice-Rector: External Relations, who helped to coordinate the programme, said leadership development is vital, as early as the basic education phase. “The objective was to offer the RCL some of the skills and knowledge we have, to enable them to dream out of the box."

Mr Pura Mgolombane, Assistant-Dean of Student Affairs, shared what student leadership is all about, the values that a leader needs to have and the relevant constitutional documentation and acts they need to know.

Madineo Mofokeng, an RCL member from Excelsior Combined School, describes her experience as a great one. “I learnt many things that will help me improve my school. I also learnt that by believing in yourself, you can do anything you put your mind to,” she added.


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