Sunday, June 24, 2007

University adapts to students needs, including the visually impaired

Students who are vision, hearing and or limb impaired, will now benefit from a new state-of-the-art modern resource centre on the University of the West Indies (UWI ), Mona, campus in Jamaica
The project, which was built at a cost of $40 million by the Lions Club of Mona in partnership with the UWI Development and Endowment Fund, was lauded by former principal of the UWI, Mona, campus, Governor-General Professor Kenneth Hall, as a tremendous achievement.

"It will enable the
University of the West Indies to live up to and deliver opportunities in a meaningful way," the governor-general said.

Not only have the capital assets of the university been increased, but the needs of some 25 students, who are currently enrolled, and staff with special needs, will be better served.
"This is the dawn of a new day," stated Peter O'Sullivan, coordinator of the Office of
Student Services and Development, as he gave the vote of thanks. This sentiment was supported by past student Damion Mclean, who is visually impaired.

"It has opened a new era for students who have challenges, making it better for them to function in their pursuit of tertiary education," he stated, adding that UWI Mona can now stand up as a premier tertiary institution in the Caribbean, and by extension the Americas, for students with challenges.

Ceremonial opening

The ceremonial opening of the doors to the building was done by visually impaired students Vivian Blake and Sean Harvey. The building, which sports soundproof exam/recording rooms, students' meeting/classrooms and a library, among other things, is furnished with modern equipment geared towards challenged students.

Beaming with pride, Harvey, who is a third-year social work student, stated, "It will always feel good to be a part of history."

The Sunday Gleaner has learned there will be at least eight hearing-impaired students entering the university in the new school year.


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