Middle East Nov 6, 2016
DUBAI: Zayed University (ZU) held its sixth White Cane event for people with vision disabilities under the theme “With My Cane, I Excel and Attain,” at female promenade at Dubai campus on Wednesday.
The event was organised by the Student Accessibility Services Department.
Vice President of Zayed University, Prof Reyadh Al Mehaideb, Provost Dr Marilyn Roberts, and Director of the Student Accessibility Services Department, Fatma Al Qassimi, inaugurated the event, which will be held in Abu Dhabi campus on Nov.7 – 9.
Shamsa AlMuhairi, a fresh psychology graduate from Zayed University, narrated how she turned her vision disability struggle into a success story.
“I work now in the information technology department at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department and am planning to start my postgraduate studies in psychology, with an aim to pursue a career in clinical or counselling psychology,” AlMuhairi said.
“My goals could not be achieved without the continuous and solid support of Zayed University, particularly the Student Accessibility Services Department.
“The university provided special needs students with all the necessary resources to help each of them become a successful member of their communities and has full access to the general curriculum in order to improve academic performance and reach full potential,” she added.
The White Cane event aims to enlighten students, staff and faculty members on the best practices that can encourage individuals with disabilities and celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or have vision disabilities.
Al Mehaideb said, “Zayed University has always been committed to promote the spirit of equality, self-help, and mutual-help for students with low or no vision.
“Undeniably, technology is a significant part of that equation to meet the student’s individual and unique learning needs.”
Devices such as Clear Reader, Piaf Tactile Image Maker, and Clear View are available at the Student Accessibility Services Department of ZU to provide students with vision disabilities with the independence to compete effectively with peers.
A large number of Zayed University volunteers have participated in the white cane event.
Booths were installed in the female promenade and several workshops, such as low vision class simulator, treasure hunt, eating in the dark, Braille, white cane, and assistive technology, were held.
Many students were seen blindfolded while performing diverse tasks and activities to experience life and feelings that blind people do.
During the event, Fatma of the special needs department said: “With more than 100 students with disabilities at Zayed University, of which around 28 are have vision disability, the Student Accessibility Services Department is always committed to provide academic and social services to help them complete their studies and participate in events and activities held on campus.”