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Wednesday, 04 May 2011

Promoting equity and acceptance – Disability Awareness Week in full swing at CPUT

Dean of Students Cora Njoli-Motale (centre) and Dr Nina Du Toit (left, back row) with staff and students supporting last year's Disability Awareness event.

“People with disabilities shouldn't be defined solely by them – once we have knowledge and awareness regarding a particular disability, we don't see the disability anymore, we see the person.” As Disability Awareness Week continues at CPUT this week, Dr Nina Du Toit, Head of the Disability Unit, is calling on staff and students to get involved in the Unit's activities, which include a series of demonstrations, exhibitions and courses about disability.

Dr Du Toit says the message they want to convey to the CPUT community is simple. “A person with a disability shouldn't be treated differently within our society. The aim of our awareness campaign this week will help able-bodied people to become better informed on issues facing disabled people, which helps promote equity and acceptance. People with disabilities also have many talents that they can put on show and make them feel good about themselves”, she emphasised.

Those talents will be evident at the Evening of Stars tonight, a free concert being held in the Major Sports Hall on the Bellville campus in which CPUT's own Wheelchair Ballroom Dancing champion, Mukhtar Lee will perform.

As for the awareness campaign this week, the unit is running a sign language course at the library during lunch time in Conference Room One, while an exhibition explaining various disabilities begins today and runs until Friday 6 May. This will allow students and staff to increase their knowledge on how to interact with co-workers and classmates with disabilities. A series of informative DVD’s will also be screened in the IT Centre.

Du Toit is calling on the CPUT community to make a special effort to attend Thursday's 'Evening of Stars' concert. In addition to featuring the breathtaking skills of CPUT's own Wheelchair Ballroom Dancing champions, learners with disabilities from five different Cape schools will be performing as well.

By Mariette Adams

Written by CPUT News

Email: news@cput.ac.za