Facilities for Students with Disabilities (DIVYANGJAN)
Bharathidasan University is a pioneer in promoting innovation and inclusion of students with disabilities in Higher Education. With the motto of “We will create a brave new World” for all, it has established a “Centre for Differently Abled Persons“in the city campus in the year 2011 for empowering students with Disabilities in Higher Education. The Centre caters to the educational needs of students with all types of disabilities, starting from school education to research.
Concession for Differently Abled
- As per the Government of Tamil Nadu order, Bharathidasan University has given exemption in Tuition fee and Special fee for the students with disabilities.
- To encourage students with disabilities from rural background to pursue Higher Education, hostel fee is waived in certain criteria
- To motivate students with disabilities, a free ship is also offered as an Institutional scholarship.
Services for the Differently abled
The Centre encompasses an Enabling unit, Barrier free Centre, Adapted material Production units, Adapted Library, Training Programs, Sensitization Programs, and Academic Programs meant for Differently Abled. Various Schemes of UGC and Government of Tamilnadu are being undertaken and effectively implemented by the University for the Welfare of the differently abled.
The functions of the Enabling unit developed under UGC-Higher education for Persons with Special Needs (HEPSN) scheme are to:
- Provide counseling to differently abled students on the types of courses they could study at the higher education institutions
- Ensure admission of as many differently abled students in various courses
- Disseminate information regarding orders dealing with fee concessions, examination procedures, reservation, policies, etc., pertaining to differently abled persons.
- Assess the educational needs of differently abled persons enrolled in the higher education institutes to determine the types of assistive devices to be procured.
- Conduct awareness programmes for teachers on approaches to teaching, evaluation procedures, etc, which will be helpful for them to facilitate differently abled students.
- Assess the ability of differently abled students and assist them in getting appropriate employment through training and placement.
- Celebrate important days pertaining to disability such as the World Disabled Day, White Cane Day, etc., in order to create awareness about differently abled persons.
- Ensure maintenance of special assistive devices procured by the higher education institute under the HEPSN scheme and encourage differently abled persons to use them for enriching their learning experiences.
- Prepare Data base of differently-abled persons studying in higher education
- Provide reader service and scribe to the needy students
Along with other training and extension activities, custom-made skill development programmes are offered for the students with disabilities:
- BCA (for Students with Speech and Hearing Impairment)
- Diploma in Vocational Training and Development (for Students with disabilities )
- Diploma in Office Automation &Assistive Technology(for Students with Vision Impairment and Learning Disability)
- Diploma in Computer Fundamentals and Office Automation(for Students with Autism, Loco motor Disability, Learning disability)
- Certificate in Basics of Adapted Yoga(for Students with Disabilities)
- Diploma in Photo edition and 2D Animation (for Students with Speech and Hearing Impairment, Loco motor Disability, Learning disability and Autism)
- Ph.D in Education (related to disability)
Adapted Material Production Units
The Adapted material production unit developed under the Government of Tamil Nadu Scheme "Multi-Model Material Production Centre for the Differently Abled Persons" encompasses Braille, Large Print, Tactile Production Unit, and Audio Production Units. These units develop materials in adapted formats for the students with disabilities to access printed resources.
Assistive Technology Lab
The assistive technology lab of the Centre serves as a training Centre for the special needs students and as a resource-training Centre for teachers of differently abled. The adapted keyboards - large print keyboards, colored keyboards, one hand keyboard, leg keyboard, mouth stick keyboard, and adapted mouse like big track mouse etc., enable any persons with disability to have physical access to computers. Screen reading software, taking typing tutors, magnifiers, easy tutors, educational training resources Braille convertors etc., of the Centre enables digital literacy accessible for all students with disabilities.
Assistive Adapted library- Digital Talking Library and Assistive Adapted Library
Digital Talking library of the Centre is located in central library of the University and the Assistive Library in its city campus. The differently abled students access digital content, internet resources, and the vast knowledge repository through this Centre. It is equipped with screen reading software: JAWS, SUPERNOVA, and NVDA Text to speech reading machines, magnification software, digital, and manual magnifiers. It also holds text to speech reading machines that can read any books and newspaper. Books in Braille, large print or tactile form and audio books along with magnifiers, reading machines and other devices make the library accessible for any type of students with disabilities.
The training programmes are offered for the differently abled on various spheres. The skill development-training Centre established under the ICT enabled training Centre for Differently Abled Persons enables them to learn vocational skills for their livelihood. The computerized tailoring unit, screen-printing, computer training units, and other need based skill development programmes are designed based on the ability of the students with special needs and their parents. Along with that, Music therapy and Adapted Yoga is an added initiative of this unit.
The Centre conducts sensitization programme at various levels with the theme of prevention of disabilities, Rights of persons with disabilities, Breaking the Barriers of Inclusion, Human Rights for persons with disabilitiesetc to the public and students in the form of Rally, Human Chain, Walkathon, signature Campaigns, Awareness Brochures etc.
The Faculty and Teachers of school and higher education are being sensitized about disability, Inclusive pedagogy, and technologies that can assist students with disabilities. Along with those students from various disciplines, librarians and volunteers are being sensitized on their role for developing an Inclusive society.