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Support Services for Current Students

Legislation, the DU adheres to the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) and your information remains confidential. We do ask for consent to share some of the information in order for you to receive the best possible service from the University.

Applying for Reasonable Accommodation

Reasonable Accommodation for students with disabilities is a Human Right enshrined in our Constitution and which CPUT embraces whole heartedly. Usually students apply for their exam concessions during the registration period but some are a bit hesitant to do so as they fear stigmatisation. Please do not be afraid. The process is really pain-free and is in your very best interest as it prevents you from becoming an at-risk student. We do require Medical documentation stating your disability, or a psychiatric report which will have guidelines detailing the kind of academic special needs support you require. To complete the application form, please click here to complete the form.

Support Services Assessment

The DU team schedules an assessment meeting with the student who applied for support services. The assessment is an in-person or online session where we meet with the student and discuss what their needs, what assistance they have had previously as well as discussing their own innovative ways to overcome challenges. We discuss options or alternatives or new technological advances that they have not encountered yet, but that may be a solution to assist them academically. For many students this meeting is an eye opener to so many possibilities that they did not know was available to them. You can scan the QR code to access the online application form:

DU Labs

The DU Labs on the District 6 and Bellville campuses are equipped with specialised software and hardware which students with disabilities can use without having to look a space in a normal lab. The labs are also used for exam purposes and serves as a separate venue for students who use the speech or magnification software, as well as for students with other sensory challenges who require a separate and quiet environment.

Exam Support

For exam purposes, the student must advise the unit as soon as they receive their exam time-table so that their space is booked ahead of time and arrangements are made with the exam offices for the exam questionnaires to be delivered to the DU. This is very important as other students are also accommodated for various reasons. The DU staff is able to provide a very limited scribe service for students during their first year at CPUT but are encouraged to become independent and use alternative methods, i.e. the software to train them for exams and the workplace.

Orientation

The DU offers a welcome and orientation session to all our first year students. We do try to make it a fun-filled but informative session... and as you are all new, you are also introduced to each other – which for many may be the first and last time you see each other. We want all our students to feel part of the greater CPUT, and to know that you are not alone on your journey, that there are many others, who just like you, are going through many of the same issues as you. If you missed an orientation session but are interested in attending a session, then please contact us on disabilityunit@cput.ac.za

Training Sessions

The DU offers training sessions on assistive and software to students before we lend devices in the Resource Centre. This is compulsory training to ensure that you are comfortable using the products. To book a session or a follow-up session, then please contact the DU on disabilityunit@cput.ac.za

Did you pass/fail?

Let us know. We have an Achiever’s Wall where we display the legacies of our students who overcame their challenges and have graduated. If you have failed, don’t be disheartened but please contact us on disabilityunit@cput.ac.za so that we can assess your needs and determine how to assist you. It may be a simple thing such as needing extra time during the exams.

Language Capturer

Our Language Capturer assists hearing impaired and Deaf students by going to class with them and transcribing the lecture in real time or from a recording if more than one student requires her services. The service can be extended to any student, based on assessment and review on assistance needed.

Resource Centre

The Resource Centre was initiated in 2014 and has a short-term loan programme that’s helped many students who were unable to purchase assistive devices when they started at CPUT. For example, students on the NSFAS Bursary receive their funding very late in the year but then the DU can step in and is able to loan first year students devices that they need in order to study. Assistive devices on loan are hand magnifiers for visually impaired students, laptops, specialised software i.e. text to speech software, mind map software, speech to text software, digital recorders and FM systems which is a device that works with a hearing aid to enable hard of hearing students to listen to a lecturer in a busy classroom.

Liaising with Departments and Lecturers

We are your voice when you are unable to express yourself or have not applied for reasonable accommodation at the beginning of the year. Many lecturers do refer students to our unit for assistance because CPUT is a caring community and they are genuinely concerned about students who are not doing well. The DU offers information and disability awareness training sessions to staff and students.