In order to develop awareness in the higher education system and also to provide necessary guidance and counselling to differently-abled persons, it is expected that the Institutes
- Facilitate admission of differently-abled persons in various courses;
- provide guidance and counselling to differently abled individuals;
- Create awareness about the needs of differently abled persons, and other general issues concerning their learning; and
- Assist differently-abled graduates to gain successful employment in the public as well as private sectors. The special unit may be coordinated by a faculty member to be nominated by the head of the institution.
The major functions of the Enabling Unit will be as follows:
- To provide counselling to differently - abled students on the types of courses they could study at the higher education institutions.
- To ensure admission of as many differently-abled students as possible through the open quota and also through the reservation meant for them.
- To gather orders dealing with fee concessions, examination procedures, reservation
- policies, etc., pertaining to differently-abled persons.
- To assess the educational needs of differently abled persons enrolled in the higher education institutes to determine the types of assistive devices to be procured.
- To conduct awareness programmes for teachers of the institute about the approaches to teaching, evaluation procedures, etc, which they should address in the case of differently-abled students.
- To study the aptitude of differently-abled students and assist them in getting appropriate employment when desired by them after their studies.
- To celebrate important days pertaining to disability such as the World Disabled Day, White Cane Day, etc., in the institute and also in the neighbourhood in order to create awareness about the capabilities of differently-abled persons.
- To 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.
- To prepare annual reports with case histories of differently-abled persons who are benefited by the HEPSN scheme sanctioned to the higher education institute.
Providing Access to Differently-abled persons
It has been felt that differently-abled persons need special arrangements in the environment for their mobility and independent functioning. It is also a fact that many institutes have architectural barriers that disabled persons find difficult for their day-today functioning. The colleges are expected to address accessibility related issues as per the stipulations of the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995, and ensure that all existing structures as well as future construction projects in their campuses are made disabled friendly. The institutes should create special facilities such as ramps, rails and special toilets, and make other necessary changes to suit the special needs of differently-abled persons. The construction plans should clearly address the accessibility issues pertaining to disability. Guidelines on accessibility laid out by the office of the Chief Commissioner of Disabilities.
Providing Special Equipment to augment Educational Services for Differently abled Persons
Differently-abled persons require special aids and appliances for their daily functioning. These aids are available through various schemes of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. In addition to the procurement of assistive devices through these schemes, the higher education institute may also need special learning and assessment devices to help differently-abled students enrolled for higher education. In addition, visually challenged students need Readers. Availability of devices such as computers with screen reading software, low-vision aids, scanners, mobility devices, etc., in the institutes would enrich the educational experiences of differently-abled persons. Therefore, colleges are encouraged to procure such devices and provide facility of Readers for visually challenged students.