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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

Louzanne Coetzee heading for Paralympic Games in Rio
2016-08-02

Description: Louzanne Coetzee  Tags: Louzanne Coetzee

Louzanne Coetzee (left) from the University of the
Free State and her guide Khothatso Mokone, a former Kovsie,
will compete in the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, from 7 to 18 September 2016.
Photo: Rufus Botha

Her perseverance and faith. Faith in herself and her coaches, as well as her Christian faith. Rufus Botha says this is what makes the Paralympic athlete Louzanne Coetzee special. According to her coach, the 23-year-old star from the University of the Free State (UFS) is easy to work with. “Her work ethic is incredible. As coach, I actually have to stop her,” he jokes. “She does not like to rest.”

On 19 July 2016, Coetzee was included in South Africa’s Paralympic team for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She and her guide Khothatso Mokone, also a former Kovsie, were included in the team that will participate in Rio from 7 to 18 September 2016.

Sights still set on 2020 Olympics

In Brazil, Coetzee will compete in the T11 category in the 1 500 m. The blind athlete is also outstanding in the 800 m and 5 000 m, of which she is the world record holder, but these items do not feature at the Olympics.

Botha says Coetzee has her sights still set on the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. “Anything she achieves in Rio will actually be a bonus.” He says it was an achievement on its own to be included in the SA team among established athletes such as Arnu Fourie and Ilse (Hayes) Carstens.

CUADS super proud of record-breaker

“Anything she achieves in Rio
will actually be a bonus.”


“Louzanne is an absolute star and an example to so many Kovsie students,” says Martie Miranda, Head of the Centre for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) at the UFS. “We are super proud of her.”

On 17 July 2016, Coetzee set a new Africa record (5:00:25) in the 1 500 m in Berlin. She will leave for Rio on 30 August 2016, with her heat taking place on 15 September 2016 and the finals on 17 September 2016.

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