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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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UFS Department of Psychology of Education joins hands with government


The Department of Psychology of Education at the University of the Free State (UFS) has joined hands with the Free State Department of Education's Sub-Directorate: Inclusive Education with a view to developing a revised qualification, namely the Advanced Certificate in Education (Learner Support in Inclusive Education). The purpose of this qualification is to equip educators with the necessary skills to effectively support learners with learning barriers. An undertaking was also made to strengthen co-operation between the two education stakeholders. At the meeting were, from the left: Mr Paul Hansen and Ms Maphoka Liphapang (both Chief Education Specialists in the Department of Education), Ms Annelie Ferreira (Chairperson of the meeting and Lecturer in the UFS Department of Psychology of Education) and Dr Greg Alexander (Lecturer in the UFS Department of Psychology of Education).
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

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