June 14, 2011 3:50:30 am
In a new high,39 candidates with hearing disabilities have registered with the Delhi Universitys office of the Dean of Students Welfare for undergraduate admissions this year.
Member of the Universitys Equal Opportunity Cell,Komal Kamra,who was counselling physically handicapped students during the registration process this year,said the number has not gone above 10 earlier. This is a major achievement,as students with hearing disabilities are always kept out of the system. They struggle to keep up with lectures. Normally,they would not come even to register, said Kamra.
Candidates now have to clear examination by a medical board before they are allotted colleges.
Change came in in 2009 when a student with hearing disability approached the EOC. That got us thinking. We decided that we should help them with signers (sign-language interpreters),and that we should make an effort to develop such people on our own, said Kamra.
The EOC now operates two short-term courses on sign language: a basic four-month course,and an advanced course. The EOC is also a centre for Indo-Pakistani Sign Language studies.
Those who clear the course are employed on an hourly basis with another student who requires and interpreter. We prefer signers who know the students subject. They are given the time-table and remain in each class the student attends,signing as the lecture progresses. Even though we provide signers,we still encourage students to record their classes, said Kamra. During admissions,the DSW office and EOC take care to admit students with hearing disabilities who opt for the same subject in the same college,so that a common signer can be assigned.
This year,431 physically handicapped candidates have registered.
This is 100 more than the number of candidates who registered during the first 10 days of registration last year. The Delhi governments Ministry of Social Justice helped us by opening a desk to give away medical certificates on the spot. A total of 108 children benefitted from it, said Kamra.
Of the 431 candidates,181 are visually challenged,194 have orthopedic disabilities,and 17 have other disabilities,including dyslexia.
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