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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

State of our campuses: UFS extends vacation as from 28 September until 7 October 2016
2016-09-28

In solidarity with the call for free education for the poor and missing middle, a discussion was held with the University Management Committee this morning, in consultation with the student leadership, and after careful assessment of operational matters on all three campuses of the University of the Free State (UFS), we agreed upon the following:
 
1.    All classes, tests, and assignments will be suspended until Friday 7 October 2016. This means that the university will close on Wednesday 28 September 2016 for an extended vacation until 7 October 2016. The academic programme will resume on Monday 10 October 2016.
                     
2.    This will allow the entire university time to demonstrate solidarity, in collaboration with student leadership, academic and support staff, and the broader community in support of free higher education for the poor and missing middle.
                  
3.    The administration of the university will continue on Thursday 29
September 2016, and staff will have access to their offices to plan the additional academic support for students, to consider the re-scheduling of the academic calendar, to engage with the Department of Higher Education and Training in relation to the students’ demands, and to continue with support services during the extended vacation.
 
4.    The university management and student leadership will also, over the next three days, engage in discussions to provide for a platform that is conducive to continued collaboration between students and the university leadership.
 
5.    The suspension of tests, classes, and assignments will also allow time for a social compact and code of ethics for protests to be agreed upon and signed between student leadership and the university management.

 In respect of the Qwaqwa Campus, some protesting students yesterday intimidated others and forcibly removed staff, as well as security personnel. Today, university property was burnt. In view of our commitment to the safety of staff, students, and university property at the campus, it was necessary to evacuate the campus – including residences – with immediate effect. However, residential students are allowed to remain on campus until midday tomorrow (28 September 2016).

The university leadership again wants to emphasise its support for a national policy of free education for the poor and missing middle and stresses its support for peaceful protests on matters that are of concern to our students.
 
We further understand the frustration of many students and their parents/guardians at the closure of the campuses and the impact it has on academic staff, staff in the Support Services, our security personnel, teaching, learning, projects, assignments, lectures, tests, fieldwork, and the academic calendar in general, and commit to do all in our power to ensure the delivery of quality education to all our students under difficult circumstances.


Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Telephone: +27 51 401 2584 | +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

 

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