MUT prides itself for enabling students from all works of life to attain a university qualification. It is this commitment to making the university accessible to all that drives MUT’s agenda to become a diverse campus. Like in the past few years, the Student Counselling Unit pitched a tent on the Anniversary Lane to make new students aware that the unit is proactively looking for new students with disabilities to provide assistance and support as they start their academic journey at MUT.
The tent is manned by returning students, who are peer helpers. Peer helpers give new students with disabilities the necessary information, and assist them with registration matters. For instance, they take them to the registration stations, and help them obtain the green cards which are specifically for students with disabilities. The peer helpers also assist students that return from university recess with temporal disabilities. For instance, some would have limb fractures after injuries. The peer helpers also diarize cases of interest and keep statistics for the day.
Lindiwe Chamane, one of the MUT Student Counsellors, said that besides the assistance they give to students with disabilities, they also empower staff with knowledge so that they are able to understand the nature of the students’ disabilities, and how to assist them. “We advocate on disability-related issues, and advise on academic and residential adjustments, among other things,” said Lindiwe.
Lindiwe said the biggest challenge which students with disabilities encounter is that the University infrastructure is not designed for the students with disabilities. Lindiwe said the message is heeded; there are lecturers that are working with them in assisting students with disabilities. And some ofthese students agree with Lindiwe. Scelo Gumede, anS4 Electrical Engineering student, said he appreciated the fact that some lecturers do understand their situation and give them more time to do their work, such as practicals, examinations.
The unit’s does its best to see to it that the students with disabilities are taken care, even after graduating.