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VUT Social Justice and Transformation Unit selected as finalist for inclusive award

The Vaal University of Technology (VUT) was selected as a finalist in the category of Disability Employer Award when it participated in the SA Board of People Practices (SABPP) Awards Dinner, which took place on 14 May 2018 at the Wanderers Club, Illovo, Johannesburg.

At this prestigious event, which was attended by various industry players responsible for people management, VUT received a special mention from the judges and was the only finalist invited to present a case study to the 8th Annual Employment Equity, Diversity and Transformation (EDDT) Summit. It took place on 15 May at the Wanderers Club, in Johannesburg. Mabore Sithole, one of the judges for the Disability Employer category, described the criteria used, including quality of approach, extent of application, external benchmark undertaken as well as quality of results.

VUT places a premium on creating an inclusive environment for both students and staff in all its campuses. The VUT reasonable accommodation framework makes provision for support for both students and staff with disabilities. The former is catered for through provision of assistive devices, text conversion for visually impaired students, and training of tutors and workshops for lecturers to enable them to teach diverse students including students with disabilities.

External funding for assistive devices and student bursaries was leveraged in 2017, where over 24 students received bursaries worth over R1.1 million. There are ongoing efforts to make the built environment inclusive and accessible to everyone. This is in line with the disability services vision of ensuring VUT progressively becomes an accessible higher education institution for people with disabilities.

The theme of the 2018 EEDT Summit was: "Excellence in Transformation and Inclusion", with the aim of showcasing employment equity, diversity and transformation (EEDT) best practice, creating an opportunity for companies to benchmark against industry leaders, and stimulate collaboration and networking opportunities within the EEDT fraternity.

"We are quite excited about this recognition from peers, which is an indication that the work VUT is doing in the disability space is beginning to bear fruit. Having participated in this event shines a spotlight on our efforts of progressively making the VUT learning and work environments accessible to all, including people with disabilities," said George Mvalo, Director, VUT Social Justice and Transformation Unit.