NWU Disability Unit hosts campaign in support of Disability Week

Issued by North West University
Johannesburg, Oct 26, 2017

The North-West University's (NWU's) Disability Unit on the campus in Mahikeng launched a three-day awareness campaign on 18 October in support of Disability Week.

The awareness campaign, with the theme: 'Take a few steps in my shoes', is aimed at sensitising and educating the campus community and external stakeholders about the challenges students who are differently abled experience when accessing the teaching and learning environment.

As part of the three-day programme, academic and support staff, as well students, will have the opportunity to visit the Disability Unit to learn more about the different supportive devices on display. They will also be able to see how a text book is scanned, edited and made available to blind students in Braille. Furthermore, attendees will embark on a commemorative walk from identified points on the campus to show support for students who are differently abled.

On 20 October 2017, the last day of the awareness campaign, David Nkwenkwezi, disability services coordinator at the Vaal University of Technology, will address students and staff on, among others, methods to enhance access to education for students who are living with disabilities.

The Disability Unit was recently moved from Student Affairs to the Academic Development Centre. "This move has indeed paid off," says Vida Zenobia Mutlaneng, student academic advisor for disability and part of the campaign organising team. "The unit has the best supportive technology which has contributed to the performance and success of our students with disabilities. Our students do very well, go on to graduate and even register for post-graduate studies.

"The number of students with disabilities registering with the NWU has increased significantly. Since the inception of the Disability Unit in 2008, 85 students have graduated to date, with some graduating with distinction," she adds.

"This was achieved not only by the commitment of the university to provide quality supportive infrastructure, but also through partnerships with stakeholders such as the Carl & Emily Fuchs foundation, an organisation which funds disability units at tertiary institutions in South Africa."

The awareness campaign is open to anyone interested in learning more about the work of the ADC's Disability Unit.