On Friday, March 29, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza flagged off the most recent addition to the University’s six-bus fleet. The new 40-seater modern coach bus was flagged off by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza accompanied by officials from the Administration Division as well as other senior university officials.
Operations Director Eng. Paul Warui described the new addtion as part of the transport fleet upgrade plan, which anticipates an overhaul of the entire fleet by the year 2020. According to him, the KES 13 million bus will lead to greater efficiency and address the growing needs of the expanding university population, both of which are part of the transport department’s strategic plan imperatives.
The new bus is accompanied by a host of new features such as USB charging, a modern entertainment system, reclining seats and a more powerful turbo-charged engine. These features, Engineer Warui said, are designed to make lengthy bus journeys comfortable and exciting.
But the bus’ most striking feature remains a new hydraulic platform at the back. The platform - arguably the first of its kind on college buses in Kenya - enables wheelchair-bound passengers to be lifted to the floor of the bus without leaving their wheelchair. Additionally, the bus has the capacity to secure and transport up to seven such passengers on a given journey.
Speaking before he flagged off the bus’ first trip, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza, applauded officials from the Administration Division for their efforts in facilitating the university’s objective of universal access to all campus services.
According to the World Report on Disability (World Health Organization and World Bank 2011) more than one billion people in the world live with some form of disability caused by mental, physical or sensory impairment.
The new Policy for Access of Persons with Disabilities, and Other Special Needs establishes minimum standards and expectations at institutional, school, program, course and individual levels at the university, in relation to the provision of quality and inclusive education for persons who are differently abled.
Prof. Zeleza pointed out that the new bus is a reflection of the University’s determination to give effect to this new policy, “We are going to implement this policy in all aspects of our program
Counseling Services has organized a three-day Disability Awareness Week on campus themed “Full participation and Equality for All -The Future We Want”, to increase awareness on disability matters. A forum on Wednesday, November 30 at the Library Bookshop, which will create a discussion space for interaction and dialogue on diverse disability issues, as well as a platform for sharing of real-life experiences from persons with disabilities, and those with a broader experience in relating to people with disabilities.
Dr. David Ole Sankok (Chairman, National Council of People with Disabilities), Dr. Michael Ndurumo (Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Nairobi; Founder, Africa Institute for Deaf Studies Research), as well as representatives from the Action Network for Disabled Youth, Deaf Empowerment Kenya, Association for Safe International Road Travel, Ability Africa Magazine among others will make remarks.
Dr. Josepine Arasa (Associate Professor of Psychology) will also make a presentation on a current taskforce working under the auspices of the Kenyan universities’ accrediting body - Commission for University Education – to craft official guidelines on how universities should handle students living with disabilities.
The week coincides with the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which will be celebrated on Saturday, December 4.
USIU-Africa’s newest student organization - the Sign Language Club will hold its first event on Thursday, June 8 from 2pm in the auditorium. This inaugural awareness and fundraising event, will highlight the unique opportunities and challenges of persons with disabilities with a special emphasis on the deaf community in Kenya with its unique culture and preferred language; the Kenya Sign Language.
18 students will form 6 teams of 3 students each to compete in 3 rounds of sign language learning including "fingerspelling bee, deaf culture and a deaf story pantomime skit. The club hosts to leverage the opportunity to raise funds towards adding facilities such as disability-friendly spectator benches, shade, washrooms and bins at the USIU-Africa sports field.
The Sign Language Club (SLC), which began in fall 2016, has a current membership of 65 students and has performed at campus eventssuch as Culture Week, Black History Month, Freshmen Orientation, Counseling Centre Disability Week, among others.
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