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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

Eusebius McKaiser talks about the magic of books
2013-03-19

 

Eusebius McKaiser
Photo: Johan Roux
19 March 2013

If you want to turn around this country in terms of the rot in education, you have to start reading. You have to read for your degree."

This was the message from writer and political analyst, Eusebius McKaiser, at a public lecture hosted by the UFS Library and Information Services to celebrate South African Library Week.

Addressing the audience that consisted mostly of students, McKaiser, author of “A Bantu in my bathroom,” said it is not too late to start reading.

"We claim we are too busy as adults, but what is the opportunity cost of not reading? I think we lose our humanity, our sense of awe in the world around us when we stop reading as adults. Instead of saying we are too busy, we will do well to ask ourselves what is the cost of no longer reading as much as we did when we were children."

Reading from some of his favourite books, McKaiser spoke about writing techniques and the magic of books. He read excerpts from JM Coetzee's book “Disgrace,” which he considers to be the most important South African novel. He also read paragraphs from books by Rian Malan, James Baldwin and K Sello Duiker – calling the latter a genius.

Reflecting on the role of fiction, McKaiser said the genre is misunderstood and not utilised sufficiently by academics. "We see fiction as something restricted to the English Department or literary departments. I think fiction can be used as a tool in many departments in the humanities. It gives more real material for exploring complicated questions in the humanities and thought experiments that resemble life."

McKaiser also discussed the role of librarians and writers, saying writers should write what they like, but should not ignore the context. "As academics, librarians, teachers, we have to write for the context in which we teach. We have to order books for the context in which we are librarians and as academics we must not write textbooks for students who live in New York. We have to write textbooks for students who come from townships.”

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