The learning experience of students with disabilities attending the University of Guyana (UG) will soon be enhanced with the establishment of a Resource Unit by the Guyana Council of Organisation for Persons with Disabilities (GCOPD).
GCOPD is the umbrella body for all Disable People Organisations (DPOs) in Guyana. Currently, GCOPD has education as one of its priority areas.
The forthcoming support GCOPD is one that will materialise through substantial funding from the Lombard Street, Georgetown shipping company – Tropical Shipping. On Monday, the shipping company handed over its financial support to the representatives of the GCOPD at a simple ceremony where it was revealed that it will go towards the procurement of modern equipment and the relevant applications to enable students with disabilities attending UG and the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) to access information in a format that will help them to conduct, research and write their exams in an efficient manner.
Disability rights advocate and GCOPD Programme Coordinator, Mr. Ganesh Singh, in accepting the support, said that it was timely and therefore very much appreciated. At this juncture, Singh sought to highlight the prevailing challenges students with disabilities face daily even as he recalled his own experience and that of other tertiary students with disabilities. Singh, who has is visually impaired, is currently a student at the University of Guyana and has been attending UG for the past six years reading for various degrees.
The equipment and applications, he said, will significantly mitigate the effects of the challenges faced by students with disabilities. Among the items to be purchased are a few Apple iPads with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) applications, to convert printed text into a digital accessible format; a few laptops and a 3D Printer to produce materials in three-dimension.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony too, Ms. Glenis Hodge, Country Manager of Tropical Shipping, said the company was happy to play a role in enhancing the learning environment of persons with disabilities, as part of the organisation’s corporate social responsibility. Tropical Shipping is a shipping and logistics company with the fastest transit time of seven days from Florida to Guyana. Tropical also operates complete Shipping services to and from Canada and across the Caribbean.