Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Library staff at the HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanities plan to develop audio and brallie books for students with visual impairments at the university.
The books are one of four initiatives chosen for be granted funds from a project designed to help university students with disabilities to access education carried out by the HCM City Disability Research and Capacity Development (DRD) Centre under the sponsorship from the Embassy of Ireland.
Bùi Thị Hằng, director of the Library and Information Centre at University of Social Sciences and Humanities and the initiative’s team leader, said that the university has 10 students with visual impairment.
Because of this disability, these students can not access documents at the library, Hằng said.
“Currently, they just learn and research by hearing and writing down what lecturers say. Moreover, they access the free source of documents on Internet, but many of them are not verified,” she told Việt Nam News.
Many of them take initiative in going to the library, but there are no audio and brallie books in the library to serve them, she added.
In the initiative, the library’s staff also will be trained to guide these students to use effectively the library’s documents, Hằng said.
It is expected that the audio and brallie books will be available next January, she added.
Another initiative of lecturers from the Education Faculty at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities that has been provided funds will provide psychological counselling and other assistance services in learning for students with disabilities at the university, Lê Thị Yên Di, its group leader, said.
At the Education Faculty, a counselling and assistance room for these students will be opened, she said.
Two other initiatives of lecturers and staff at the city University of Education include developing a brallie map for its students with visual impairment to know the way to classrooms and providing an assistant for students with disabilities at the university.
The project to help university students with disabilities to access education started at the two universities of Social Sciences and Humanities, and Education in January.
Later, the DRD centre aims to expand the one-year project to other universities throughout the city.
In the project, students with disabilities will raise their capacity to know and implement the rights of education and comprehensive development.
They are also provided learning aid devices or volunteers who are ready to support their learning.
It also aims to improve the awareness of university staff on providing necessary assistance to students with disabilities.
Moreover, students will get support in seeking enterprises for internships or jobs after graduating.
Lưu Thị Ánh Loan, the centre’s acting director, said that students with disabilities in the country still face difficulties in learning at universities and colleges.
For instance, infrastructure there is not accessible for them.
According to the 2009 Population and Housing Census in Việt Nam, the country has 6.1 million people with disabilities age 5 and above, or 7.8 per cent of the total population.
Of them, less than 0.1 per cent study at universities or colleges. — VNS