AICTE asks universities to ensure accessibility of online classes to PwD students

AICTE has asked for accessible study material, sign language interpreters, thoughtful exam schedule, preventing discrimination.

AICTE asks universities to ensure accessibility of online classes to PwD students AICTE (Source: Official)
Vagisha Kaushik | Nov 29, 2021 - 1:36 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has asked the colleges and universities to implement the direction given by the Supreme Court for ensuring accessibility of online education to persons with disabilities (PwD) students.

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“We would like to inform you that in the case "W.P. (Civil) No. 600 of 2021 field by Javed Abidi Foundation Vs Union of India & Anr.", Hon'ble Supreme Court has directed in its interim order dated 12.11.2021 to implement the following suggestions given by Javed Abidi Foundation during the hearing of the case,” an official notification said while listing down the suggestions.

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According to the suggestions, the Council has first of all asked the universities to “ensure that the study material which is being provided is accessible for those having visual disabilities and specific learning disabilities.” It argued that the classes being provided during the lockdown period were inaccessible to PwD students because the study material is in image form and an alt text is not provided for description and the documents are not properly scanned.

Secondly, it asked to take necessary actions to have sign language interpreters and transcripts in the lectures for these students.

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It also directed the institutions to assign teaching assistance for some students who need individualized support in certain subjects.

Talking about the examination schedule, the Council further said “universities are advised to keep these challenges in mind while releasing the amended date sheets for conducting the examinations.” This would also help the students with disabilities to arrange for scribes and other facilities to write the exams in a proper manner, it said.

Moreover, AICTE advised the universities that in the cases where social distancing cannot be followed by PwD students, there should be other alternatives such as wearing gloves, use of hand sanitizers etc. for ensuring the safety of these students.

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