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DU cell offers short-term courses for persons with disabilities

cities Updated: Jul 06, 2017 10:47 IST

New Delhi: The Equal Opportunity Cell (EOC) of Delhi University runs three short-term certificate courses for the differently abled, which are primarily open to Delhi University students. Those from the marginalised sections are also given fee waivers.

These courses, offered at the Faculty of Arts, having a duration of 3-6 months.

“Being blind cannot stop me from achieving what I want,” said 24-year-old Moqbul, who is a final-year postgraduate student at Ramjas College. He was also a student of Sign Language Interpretation, and Information and Computer Technology at EOC.

This year, DU has received over 1,700 applications for merit-based undergraduate programmes from students who have either physical, intellectual or behavioural disabilities. Some of these applicants also have disabilities caused by chronic conditions. As per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act - 2016, which came into force on April 19, 2017, the university will be providing 5% reservations in admissions and 4% reservation in employment for persons with disabilities.

EOC strives to make the academic years of these students hassle-free by empowering them and filling the gaps that school education sometimes creates.

“EOC has played a major role in assisting the students with disabilities with admission-related counselling and filling up of scholarships forms, making Delhi University highly inclusive of the differently abled students and teachers. Not only the DU, but other universities too must take such initiatives to provide infrastructural facilities, enable technologies and create a conducive environment for the differently abled students and teachers,” said Shakti Aggarwal, professor at Law Faculty, who claimed that as a visually impaired student, he had availed support by the EOC during his student days at DU, albeit they did not offer the courses back then.

The cell currently provides short-term courses in Sign Language Interpretation, Communicative English and Information and Computer Technology, with a duration of 3-6 months, offered at DU-NTPC Centre at the Faculty of Arts. Forms for these courses are available online and can also be filled offline at the EOC.

“We are not treated as students with special needs. Rather, we are made independent. Sometimes I forget that I am blind because I can handle everything just like any other person,” says Vijay Tiwari, a 24-year-old student who has filled his MA Political Science form.

“People’s approach towards persons with disabilities has also changed manifold over the years,” added Tiwari, who is taking Information and Computer Technology classes from EOC.

Anil Aneja, officer on special duty at EOC, recognises strict legislative policies, accessible support technology and skills development as crucial in uplifting the differently abled to the mainstream.

The university started providing smartphones and smart canes to visually impaired students through the government of India’s Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids/Appliances (ADIP) scheme. Advance book-reading technologies have been installed to help the visually impaired students. Most students with disabilities were provided laptops, ‘plextalk’ recorders to tape the lectures, which could then be converted to PDF format to provide visually impaired students with Braille copy of the notes.

First Published: Jul 05, 2017 12:34 IST