UGC asks colleges, universities to implement accessibility guidelines to facilitate PwD students

UGC guidelines ask HEIs to ensure buildings are wheelchair accessible, develop bridge courses, provide support through counselling, mentoring to PwDs.

UGC (Source: Official)UGC (Source: Official)

Vagisha Kaushik | July 13, 2022 | 02:47 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked colleges and universities to implement ‘Accessibility Guidelines and Standards for Higher Education Institutions and Universities’ to provide easy access to higher education to persons with disabilities (PwDs).

“With a view to improve the participation and learning experiences of persons with disabilities in HEIs and also to achieve the goals of NEP 2020 and provisions of Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016, University Grants Commission (UGC) has prepared. ‘Accessibility Guidelines and Standards for Higher Education Institutions and Universities’, which will play a very significant role in making our HEIs accessible,” said an official statement from UGC.

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According to the guidelines, HEIs must ensure that all buildings and facilities are wheelchair-accessible and disabled-friendly; develop bridge courses for those students that may come from disadvantaged educational backgrounds, and provide socio-emotional and academic support for all such students through suitable counselling and mentoring programmes.

HEIs need to create a common learning environment that is flexible and accessible for all the students to learn together including those from varied backgrounds and diverse abilities, as per UGC.

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The Government of India launched the Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) in 2015 to facilitate barrier-free urban development for persons with disabilities in three broad domains - built environment, information technology, and transportation, UGC further said.

The Commission prepared and released the draft guidelines in February. It has prescribed guidelines under following sections for developing a holistic perspective and understanding:

  • Promoting Inclusive Practices and Accessibility
  • Need Assessment and Support Provisions
  • Accessibility of ICT
  • Mobility Infrastructure
  • Built Infrastructure
  • Accessible Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
  • Accessible Assessment or Examination
  • Accessibility in Resources, Services
  • Inclusive Campus Living
  • Governance and Monitoring of Accessibility and Inclusive Practices

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