Disabled varsity students call for friendly learning environment

Epiphanie Furaha, a 4th year student at School of Journalism and Communication at UR Gikondo Campus. Patience Nduwayezu
Students with disabilities at the University of Rwanda call for action to ease their learning situations.

Roselyn Muragijimana, one of the disabled students at the UR Gikondo Campus is concerned by the poor state of facilities for students living with disabilities at the university.

”We are limited from going to certain places due to many flights of stairs placed around the campus, including our hostels, toilets and university restaurant. It is difficult to move along the staircase when I’m on my wheelchair. I always require assistance from other people.”

At College of Education (COE) students who are visually impaired cannot borrow reading material from the library. This is because there are no materials written in braille. They sometimes depend on a fellow student or a well-wisher to come and read for them.

Nsengiyumva Augustin, a visually impaired student at the campus, said that sometimes they perform poorly in their studies because they lack someone to help them.

“When we always rely on our friends to read for us it makes us feel like we are a burden to them. We do not want to constantly nag people because we also know that they have other things they are doing,” Said Nsengiyumva.

Moreover, students with disabilities also face financial challenges since some of them come from low income families.

Nzayitambira Aimable, the head of students with disabilities union at UR-Nyarugenge Campus, said that university new comers face many challenges.

Faustin Renzaho, the head of Advocacy for Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disability (NUDOR) under the National Unity of Disabilities Organisation (NUDOR), said that architects should consider people with disabilities in their planning. He further said that it would be better if the building owners would include ways for the disabled to navigate their way around buildings.