The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) is all set to make its campus more accessible to its 34 differently-abled students.
The institute has sent a proposal to the ministry of social justice to create a barrier-free campus, which will allow these students and visitors to move around without assistance.
Vaishali Kolhe, assistant professor, centre for disability studies, TISS, said: “We recently conducted an access audit of the campus and sent a proposal to the ministry of social justice under Scheme for Implementation of Persons with Disability Act (SIPDA). The ministry has agreed to the proposal. The grant will be released in a few months and work will soon begin on the campus.”
Kolhe is also the project director of ‘I Access Rights Mission’, a project to address issues of differently-abled students. “We will carry out certain architectural modifications in the campus and also try to bring about an attitudinal change among students. We have planned to use digital technology to develop a navigation system in the campus for mobility for differently-abled students,” Kolhe said.
The audit was conducted with the help of differently-abled students, who gave their views and suggestions on how the campus can be made friendlier for them.
Ravikant Jagtap, a differently-abled student who is pursuing Master in Social Work (MSW) at the institute, helped develop a tactile map for TISS’s main campus. “Any student with disability faces mobility issues in the campus, so it is important to have a cognitive map at the entrance of all universities,” he said.
A round-table conference for differently-abled students was organised at the campus last week, where they were encouraged to submit their ideas.
“We hope that all educational institutes follow suit and move towards restructuring its environment for the differently-abled,” said S Parasuraman, director of TISS.