Delhi University set to become disabled-friendly
Higher Education

Delhi University set to become disabled-friendly

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For Mohammed Gulfaam, a visually impaired BA-III student of Delhi University reaching college poses a challenge every day. But the coming academic season could be easier on him as the university is set to introduce a pick-and-drop facility for physically disadvantaged students. Proposing changes Chandra Nisha Singh, Officer on Special Duty at the Equal Opportunities Cell (EOC) said, 'We will introduce a bus for physically challenged students who stay close to North Campus. It is a 30-seater bus with four wheelchairs. All kinds of formalities are complete and the bus is ready to roll from the coming session.'

If all goes as planned, physically disadvantaged students can expect washrooms engineered for them, tactile paths for visually impaired students covering all the departments, computers with JAWS (Job Access With Speech) software and a Braille embosser to enable visually impaired students use computers conveniently UGC assistance These amenities will be funded with the INR 5 lakh grant allocated by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to each college. Colleges are also entitled to other grants like honorarium for coordinators and budgetary provisions amounting to INR 2,48,000 every year. The groundwork for this project started two years ago when the EOC did an Access Audit of all 70 colleges in the university, to identify measures to make the university disabled friendly. Lending an ear Hearing-impaired students have already benefited from the measures. For the first time, in the 2008-09 session, they were provided interpreters to understand the lectures. Karishma Saluja, B.Com II year student of Sri Venkateshwara College, had informed the university last year about her inability to understand classroom lectures owing to her hearing impairment. She, along with other hearing-impaired students, was provided free services of interpreters. 'It was a great help, as I don't need to copy my classmates' notes anymore. In the first year, attending lectures was futile, but now it has become useful,' said Saluja. Colleges are hopeful of completing this project soon.

For Mohammed Gulfaam, a visually impaired BA-III student of Delhi University reaching college poses a challenge every day. But the coming academic season could be easier on him as the university is set to introduce a pick-and-drop facility for physically disadvantaged students. Proposing changes Chandra Nisha Singh, Officer on Special Duty at the Equal Opportunities Cell (EOC) said, 'We will introduce a bus for physically challenged students who stay close to North Campus. It is a 30-seater bus with four wheelchairs. All kinds of formalities are complete and the bus is ready to roll from the coming session.'

If all goes as planned, physically disadvantaged students can expect washrooms engineered for them, tactile paths for visually impaired students covering all the departments, computers with JAWS (Job Access With Speech) software and a Braille embosser to enable visually impaired students use computers conveniently UGC assistance These amenities will be funded with the INR 5 lakh grant allocated by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to each college. Colleges are also entitled to other grants like honorarium for coordinators and budgetary provisions amounting to INR 2,48,000 every year. The groundwork for this project started two years ago when the EOC did an Access Audit of all 70 colleges in the university, to identify measures to make the university disabled friendly. Lending an ear Hearing-impaired students have already benefited from the measures. For the first time, in the 2008-09 session, they were provided interpreters to understand the lectures. Karishma Saluja, B.Com II year student of Sri Venkateshwara College, had informed the university last year about her inability to understand classroom lectures owing to her hearing impairment. She, along with other hearing-impaired students, was provided free services of interpreters. 'It was a great help, as I don't need to copy my classmates' notes anymore. In the first year, attending lectures was futile, but now it has become useful,' said Saluja. Colleges are hopeful of completing this project soon.

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