Universitas Gadjah Mada emphasized its commitment to be a campus of inclusion that is welcoming for people with disabilities. UGM implements the acceptance of students from disabilities and developing disability-friendly learning.
“UGM is inclusive. It is by accepting all of the nation’s best children from the outermost, deepest, foremost, underprivileged and impoverished families,” explained Wuri Handayani, SE., Ak., M.Sc., MA, Ph.D, as the Chairperson of the Working Group The formation of the Disability Unit Service. She conveyed it during the talk in the UGM Update, which had the theme Strengthening UGM as an Inclusive Campus, Tuesday (7/28).
Wuri said UGM reinforced this commitment during the 70th UGM Anniversary. Within the anniversary speech, the UGM Chancellor said that the university would more strengthen the commitment to accomplish inclusive education for all disabilities.
“UGM’s commitment as an inclusive campus has enrolled into one of the strategic plans,” explained the FEB UGM lecturer.
One form of this commitment is by the establishment of the disabled service unit (ULD) in 2020. The unit will provide services and support access for students and prospective students with disabilities. The establishment of ULD is also to meet the mandate of Law No.8 Year 2016 concerning Persons with Disabilities.
Wuri explained that before the ULD formed, the Working Group for the Establishment of Disability Services tasked with providing facilitation for academics, including students with disabilities at UGM as well as strengthening inclusive university policies. Besides, it is also preparing the establishment of ULD at UGM.
“ULD concentrated on providing services and access support for UGM academicians, lecturers, students, and students as well as outside communities who necessitate information,” he explained,
One of the students with vision impairment, Tio Tegar, said that UGM entirely supports disabled students. One of them was the establishment of the Disabled Caring Student Activity Unit in 2013 ago. Then, UGM also formed the Working Group on the Establishment of Disability Services in September 2019 to prepare ULD.
“Therefore, we can see on how UGM’s supports towards the disabilities, from the aspect of policy the leadership of the university,” said the 2016 Law Faculty student.
He said UGM was quite open to students with disabilities. He pointed out from his personal experience while undergoing college.
“When we asked for policies from the faculties to provide accommodations during midterms and final, they truly provide us that facilitation,” he said.
However, UGM still needs to accomplish some homework, especially related to physical accessibility for students with disabilities. The reason is there are still places that are not yet accessible for students with disabilities.
Meanwhile, one of the students with hearing impairment from the Master of Management at FEB UGM, Nathania Tifara, revealed that she could see UGM’s commitment to students with disabilities. She delivered a message to students and prospective students with disabilities to be open about their shortcomings and needs as persons with disabilities to the university. Thereby, the university can find out the needs and provide access support for students with disabilities.
“Please be open about shortcomings and needs with academics and student friends,” he said.
She also encouraged people with disabilities to be confident. Therefore, physical limitations are not a barrier to achieving success. “Everyone can be successful, and the disability is not an obstruction to gain success,” she concluded.
Translator: Natasa A