JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Beginning September 2014, the University of the West Indies (UWI) will award five bursaries, valued at $50,000 each, to five students with disabilities enrolled at the institution’s Mona campus, in St. Andrew.
  • “This bursary is yet another major university initiative that is geared at providing friendly and accommodating educational service to all students with disabilities...
  • The Pro-Vice Chancellor pointed out that since its inception, the UWI has prided itself as an institution for the people. He said its objective, as a higher education institution, is empowering all citizens with a strong knowledge framework and the skills set to transform them into active and responsible participants in society.

Beginning September 2014, the University of the West Indies (UWI) will award five bursaries, valued at $50,000 each, to five students with disabilities enrolled at the institution’s Mona campus, in St. Andrew.

Pro-Vice Chancellor and Campus Principal, Professor Archibald McDonald, made the announcement during the recently concluded two-day biennial Regional Disability Conference, staged by the UWI’s Centre for Disability Studies (CDS), at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge and Conference Centre, in St. Andrew.

Professor McDonald advised that the bursaries will be awarded each academic year, through the CDS, to students maintaining a B-average in their studies.

“This bursary is yet another major university initiative that is geared at providing friendly and accommodating educational service to all students with disabilities. Our ultimate goal is to continue to provide the training and a strong educational framework that will allow our graduates with disabilities to enter the working world as skilled competent trailblazers (and) make continuous contributions to the welfare of the community,” he said.

The Principal noted that as the region’s premier tertiary institution, the UWI has taken other major steps to ensure that the best quality education is provided for its students, particularly those with disabilities.  He said this is done through several programmes initiated over the past few years, “aimed at empowering and making education easily accessible for our disabled student community.”

“We have established the Office for Students with Special Needs that provides support for our new and returning students with disabilities. We have also established the Centre for Disability Studies (which) is charged with examining the social construct of disabilities, in order to inform policies and regulations that are concerned with improving the welfare of the disabled community. The university also maintains a policy for students with disabilities, which emphasizes our duty of care to them as their education providers,” he outlined.

Professor McDonald said the university recognizes the challenges associated with disabilities and, as such, “we aim to provide a comfortable and adaptable environment for our disabled students that will ensure that their learning experience on campus is fruitful and stress-free.”

The Pro-Vice Chancellor pointed out that since its inception, the UWI has prided itself as an institution for the people. He said its objective, as a higher education institution, is empowering all citizens with a strong knowledge framework and the skills set to transform them into active and responsible participants in society.

He argued that the UWI has a social responsibility to ensure that everyone in Jamaica, regardless of race, class, religion, or physical and intellectual abilities, “is able to enjoy equal opportunities.”

Over 300 representatives and delegates from Jamaica and other Caribbean islands attended the two-day conference, held under the theme: ‘Making Government and the Private Sector Work for Persons with Disabilities’.

Participants deliberated on issues related to the status of persons with disabilities across the Caribbean, with a view to developing a Charter of minimum service delivery in the public and private sectors, and assisting relevant stakeholders to fast track the disability agenda in the region.