ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) is the only University in the country which provides education to the physically handicapped and visually impaired persons free of cost from Matriculation to PhD level.
Talking to media in Islamabad on Wednesday, an official of the university said that AIOU has upgraded its education plan for the special students with maximum facilities including provision of study material through a computerized accessibility centre.
He said the number of enrolled students with the University in these category immensely increased in the recent years.
The university is providing free education to all types of special need students (Blind, Physically Handicapped, hearing Impaired and Social/Emotional Disturbed), he added.
Vice Chancellor of the university Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui said that “We could proudly say that in admissions of 2016 a large number of special need students mostly visually impaired students are interested in M. Phil and PhD programmes”.
Only the faculty of Education received more than 20 applications for the admission of M.Phil and PhD programmes.
The departments of the faculty also provide writer facility to them. An Accessibility Centre has been established at the AIOU’s Central Library.
It is the first-ever E-Learning facility being provided to this special category of people by any public sector educational institution free of cost. This is our humble effort to take care of handicapped people who wish to acquire knowledge in any particular field, he added.
The center is equipped with computers, scanners, printers, different software through which needy students especially visually impaired or blind could access e-content through internet.
We wish to set up such Accessibility centers in other parts of the country, he added.
This facility is not confined to only AIOU’s students but all those who are interested to get themselves educated through E-learning.
The needy students will be able to access HEC’s digital resources, e-Books, research articles, journals, thesis and course material of their programs without any extra charges.