Delhi University’s Equal Opportunity Cell (EOC) runs three short-term courses for differently abled students, primarily for the students of the University apart from giving fee waivers for students from marginalised sections.
The University has received approximately 1700 applications for merit-based undergraduate courses by students with physical, intellectual, or behavioural disabilities. The University provides a reservation of upto 5% in admissions and 4% in employment for them as per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.
The EOC strives to make the lives of these students hassle-free by providing short term courses with a duration of 3-6 months on Sign Language Interpretation, Communicative English, and Information and Computer Technology. The courses take place at the DU-NTPC Centre at the Faculty of Arts. Stories from students’ experiences at DU bear testimony to the work done by the EOC in this direction. “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 student with disability pursuing his Masters degree from the University.
As a step towards recognising the need for strict legislative policies, accessible support technology, and skills development in uplifting the differently abled, the University has 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. The students have also been provided with laptops installed with softwares that would enable them to record lectures and study them in PDF format later.
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat