This chapter presents a case study of the University of South Africa (Unisa), an Open Distance and e-Learning (ODeL) institution, to highlight the innovative strategies the university adopts to create inclusive learning spaces for students with hearing and visual disabilities and impairments in an ODeL environment. In doing so, this chapter first highlights the obstacles that students with hearing and visual disabilities and impairments face in the higher education sector in South Africa in general, and then closely examines the challenges these students face within a distance-learning context, with particular reference to the post-apartheid era. Subsequently, the discussion steers towards the specific context of Unisa and the approaches embraced by its Advocacy and Resource Centre for Students with Disabilities (ARCSWiD) to create an inclusive learning environment for these students. A close examination of the various sound and audio formats, as well as support services for documents in Braille, for example, for students with visual impediments and a discussion of the support systems, such as sign language interpretation, among other support structures, for students with hearing difficulties are then put forward. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the ethical issues associated with the use of assistive devices and other support structures for these students, before putting forth recommendations, and making suggestions for possible future studies.
Satar, A.A. (2019), "Innovative Strategies for Creating Inclusive Spaces for Hearing-Impaired and Visually Impaired Students in an Open Distance And e-Learning (ODeL) Environment: A Case Study of the University of South Africa (Unisa)", Hoffman, J., Blessinger, P. and Makhanya, M. (Ed.) Strategies for Facilitating Inclusive Campuses in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 17), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 253-267. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120190000017018
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