Shimla, April 1
The Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) has formulated a comprehensive policy document covering all statutory rights of disabled students. The policy document “Equal Opportunity Policy for Persons with Disabilities” emphasises non- discrimination and complete empowerment of the disabled students and also envisages establishing a Grievance Redressal Cell for disabled students, teachers and employees.
The policy provides a major safeguard to such teachers and employees, so that their services can never be terminated due to disability. Apart from education, the students would be entitled to equal opportunity in sports, yoga, library, coaching, skill development and recreational activities. The university would also create a barrier- free environment, the document states.
Vice Chancellor Prof SP Bansal congratulated the disabled students as HPU has become the first university in the northern states, after Delhi, to prepare such a policy document. It would be strictly implemented and disabled students would not have to run from pillar to post to achieve their legal rights, he further said.
Elaborating on the contents of the policy, Nodal Officer for Disability Affairs Prof Ajai Srivastav said there were provisions of totally free education, free hostel, a supernumerary seat in Ph.D in each department every year, besides five per cent reservation in all courses and a fully accessible library equipped with talking software for the disabled students.
They will also get relaxation of five years in upper age limit for admission while the visually impaired students would be provided e-resources, Prof Srivastav said. The policy was aimed at promoting ‘appropriate augmentative alternative models of communication and formats, including computer with talking software, large print, braille and Indian sign language, he stated.
Books in the library would be made accessible to visually impaired students through digitization and a pool of scribes would be put in place for those students who cannot write due to disability. Till the pool is prepared, no criteria of educational qualification of scribes shall be fixed, Srivastav added.
Besides provisions of free coaching, skill development and vocational training for the disabled students, the policy also states that the university will restructure its curriculum to ensure access, inclusion and participation in yoga and sports activities.
Free education, 5% quota in all courses
- Safeguard for disabled teachers and employees, so that their services can never be terminated due to disability. Students will be entitled to equal opportunity in sports, yoga, library, coaching, skill development and recreational activities.
- Free education, free hostel, a supernumerary seat in Ph.D in each department every year, besides five per cent reservation in all courses and a fully accessible library equipped with talking software for disabled students.