Many students living with disabilities experience different and unique challenges; this means that equally unique solutions need to be developed for them. ThisAbility is a newly formed structure at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and other academic institutions in the country, finally giving these students their own voice.
Its aims and objectives are:
- To make the lives of students with disabilities worthwhile at the University, by advocating for the rights of these students.
- To make studying and learning conducive for students with physical disabilities.
- To be the voice of the students living with disabilities in their classrooms, residences, and the financial aid offices among others. Part of this means assistance with transportation, access to mentorship and tutorial sessions.
- To meet the diverse needs of students living with disabilities in all spheres that affect their academic lives.
- To host disability awareness campaigns and expose students living with disabilities to the services offered in the University for the people with disabilities, and to teach the general community of the Tshwane University of Technology about the challenges faced by students living with disabilities.
- The structure also has a number of secondary objectives, which are:
- To reach out to schools of the physically disabled and “abled” youth, to inform them about the procedures of being admitted to a university or institution of higher learning.
- To help disabled students with access to bursaries.
Thabang Mankaba, Chairperson: ThisAbility, says: “One cannot discuss issues of people living with disabilities without their input. We want to see people succeed and this structure is inclusive of all, those living with and without disabilities.”
The Executive Committee of this structure plans to visit schools, host community outreach programs, run disability awareness campaigns on campus, host leadership and motivational seminars, and create a disability fun day.
“Students living with disabilities feel misrepresented because people without disabilities make decisions on their behalf. No one understands their struggles, so this structure fills the representation gap. I am so excited to know that they will finally have their own voice,” Carrol Vilakazi-Ramfolo, SGLD Practitioner.
For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Willa de Ruyter on tel: 012 382 5352 or send an email to email@example.com