Volume 4 Issue 8 - April 15, 2006

Jawaharlal Nehru University gearing for disabled-friendly initiatives

D.N.I.S. News Network- India’s premier higher education institution, Jawaharlal Nehru University (J.N.U.), could witness a number of architectural and technological initiatives, in the coming academic year that will make the institution more accessible to its disabled students.

The University is among the first in the country to have set up a Disability Unit or Equal Opportunities Office, as it is known at J.N.U. It is also among the few educational institutions that have utilised the University Grants Commission’s allocation for creating ramps and making structural changes to make the campus barrier-free. 

The fresh initiatives that are being planned include signage in Braille at schools and library, and wide-entry toilets.  

According to Dr Satya Bhushan of the University’s Equal Opportunities Office, plans are afoot to modernise the Hellen Keller Unit, and develop the e-learning facility in the library for visually impaired students. This will allow them to loan audio CDs of several popular textbooks.

‘‘Those with motor disabilities face problems in accessing classrooms and toilets. New buildings will solve this problem. We also plan to widen doors to toilets in some existing buildings,’’ Bhushan was quoted as saying in a news report. 

New buildings that will come up on the campus will also have the provision of the Loop Induction to aid students with hearing disabilities. An induction loop is basically a coil of wire that surrounds an area in which people with hearing loss are be located. Loops are typically installed under the carpet or around the tops of the walls of a room, where they meet the ceiling. The loops are attached to an amplifier, which is fed by a sound source - a microphone, radio, or whatever the users want to hear. 

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