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It has been two weeks since the bridging course for the disabled started. We are very happy to report that the course is progressing well. It is very clear is that their excitement levels are still very high and they have all managed to settle in very well.

Jacques Coetzee, a lecturer, who teaches the disabled students had positive remarks about the progress of the course and his students. “We are enjoying the Kempton Park campus, it’s much less mountainous and well organised and offers a great atmosphere. I teach four classes of about 25 students in each class. Students have varying disabilities, most of the students are very compliant and you can actually feel their zeal in the way they work. They are positive and I am very happy to be here.”

Young people with disabilities continue to face enormous challenges because they do not have equal opportunities. As Belgium Campus, we have taken it upon ourselves to collaborate with different organisations so that we give everyone a chance at getting a wide theoretical and critical knowledge base together with broad practical experience in IT.

Sibongile Ngomane, a 25-year-old partially blind student expressed her gratitude in being given the chance to study. “I really appreciate Belgium Campus and E.O.H for giving us the opportunity to study. Disabled people are marginalised and so am very happy that there are organisations that care about our future. My sight is not very good, lecturers here are very patient with us and I really appreciate it. I want to develop devices for the disabled one day. That is my main goal.”

Technology for the disabled has made numerous advances over the recent years. Belgium Campus students are already at the forefront of developing devices for the disabled. Our students have developed a device meant to advance our understanding of how to incorporate tone of voice into Augmentative and alternative communication systems. These systems provide powerful tools for communication for persons with complex communication needs.

“This is a friendly environment, I enjoy being here. Right now we are still busy with the first two modules. I get massive cramps on my left thigh and this makes it very difficult for me to walk as you can see I am wheelchair bound. I appreciate that this campus is not very far from where I live. I am happy that I do not have transport problems anymore because that was my biggest problem even in high school. ” said Berlice Ngoepe, one of the morning session students.

Others are, however, still struggling to cope with the pressure of studying IT. “I do not have any IT background so for me it has been a bit of a challenge. Standards here are very high compared to other universities. Am still not sure whether I will make it or not but I am trying very hard to perform well so that I get the chance to study IT at Belgium Campus.

It is my wish that one day Belgium Campus can expand and be able to offer a wide range of courses for the disabled which will give a chance for disabled students to develop devices for themselves.” said Tsholofelo Mojakgotle.