Hari Shankar travelled from Varanasi to Delhi to fill up the common admission form for undergraduate courses in Delhi University (DU).
The visually challenged student is used to help, but the facilities available for students at the university’s Equal Opportunity Cell took him by surprise on Monday.
“I came here an hour ago and after that, I didn’t need to do anything else. My form has already been filled and submitted,” Shankar said.
With free bus rides across North Campus, Braille brochures on admission-related information and trained volunteers to help students like him, Shankar is a happy man.
“The idea is to ensure that accessibility is not a hurdle for students coming to seek admissions,” said Vipin Tiwary, officer on special duty at EOC.
Besides creating Braille brochures for visually impaired students, for the first time, the department has also created audio recordings of the entire prospectus for the students. “Copies of both will be available at the 18 information centres from Tuesday for the students,” Tiwary said.
A team of 10 volunteers has also been formed at the cell to assist in form filling and counselling students. Students wishing to read the college prospectus online can also do so by going to the EOC website, where it can be read through screen-reader software, in Braille and in audio format.
A special advisory has also been drafted for students with disabilities. “There is a separate admission form available at the cost of Rs 50 for persons with disabilities. Usually, students are not aware that they need to fill this form. Besides, we have listed the different kinds of disabilities with specific categories, besides providing them with a list of necessary documents they need to carry for admissions,” Tiwary said.
Colleges have also been issued instructions by the EOC on facilitating admissions for students with disabilities. The instructions include provision of helpdesks, accessible spaces, making NSS (Nation Service Scheme) and NCC (National Cadet Corps) cadets available for assistance, availability of wheelchairs and making at least two teachers as “nodal persons for handling grievances of such students”.
For any clarifications, students can also call the cell at 011-27662602, or email the cell at firstname.lastname@example.org