University Grants Commission publishes accessibility guidelines and standards for colleges and universities

The University Grants Commission (UGC) released Accessibility Guidelines and Standards for Higher Education Institutions and Universities on July 4, calling on universities and colleges to develop effective and accessible mechanisms for people with disabilities that should cover all stages, from admission to course completion.

Guiding lines

UGC believes that these guidelines are essential to ensure an effective transition of students from socio-economically disadvantaged groups, including people with disabilities, into higher education. He further stated that these guidelines are in line with the New National Education Policy (NEP) Recommendations, 2020.

The guidelines state that a common learning program should be created that is flexible and accessible to all students. Buildings and infrastructure must be accessible and suitable for people with disabilities, and bridging courses must be developed for students from disadvantaged educational backgrounds. The administration should focus on providing social-emotional and academic support to all of these students through appropriate counseling and mentoring programs, as reported by NDTV Education.

The guidelines state that higher education institutions should have support for all activities, including registration, academic support, accommodation and transport facilitation, fee submission, sponsorship, scheduling , timetables and the academic almanac, the settlement of grievances, the publication or delivery of the grade sheet. , certification, diploma, transcript, migration, counseling, scholarships and bursaries, and capacity building of staff who could help students in the transformation.

Key points to remember

He adds: “Higher education environments must enable all students with disabilities to have the right to access and participate in education, the ability to learn and the right to exercise their voice, choice and their control in the management of their own educational experiences”.

The specific guidelines include a suggestion for universities to number the choices for multiple-choice questions with capital letters such as A, B, C and D to help students with dyslexia not confuse “b” with “d”. The guidelines contain a provision that talks about the specific needs and measures for students with cerebral palsy, acid attack survivors, people recovered from leprosy, dwarfism, muscular dystrophy, blindness and low vision, autism spectrum disorders, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, thalassemia and haemophilia. , among others, as reported by Times of India.

Higher education institutions should focus on making accessible unisex toilets available at all strategic locations where toilets for both sexes are equally available, they add. Preferential seating arrangements, which could be near the door or at the back of the classroom, could be an effective way to support mental illness, and students with autism spectrum disorders should be allowed to focus on parts of the classroom. a topic rather than the whole concept, UGC says in its recommendations, as reported by The Indian Express.

Higher education institutions should ensure that they remove any barriers that prevent, impede, impede or make difficult an individual’s participation in all aspects of higher education.

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