NLSIU welcomes students, faculty, staff and visitors with disabilities, and works to ensure an accessible, welcoming working and learning environment for them. Here are some measures undertaken by NLSIU to ensure accessibility to Persons With Disabilities:
- Separate sitting arrangement for persons with disabilities are made on the ground floor with accessible approach for all competitive examinations by UPSC/SSC/CBSE and for other academic programmes for Engineering and Professional Courses.
- All buildings on campus are accessible including Library, Hostels and Restrooms.
- Lift, ramps, rails are available
- Learning Management System (LMS) is available for students, facilitated by use of Braille software for visually impaired students.
- Scribes for examination are provided to candidates on a request basis
Reasonable Accommodation Measures for Persons with Disabilities in Teaching and Learning
Based on discussions with students with disabilities, the University has instituted the following processes to ensure that reasonable accommodations are made for Persons with Disabilities in the academic curriculum:
Identification of Accommodation Measures:
- After the admission process is completed, the Student Welfare Officer meets the students and ascertains their specific requirements and communicates the same to the concerned Faculty. This includes requests related to accommodation at residence halls.
- The Student Welfare Officer also communicates any special arrangement related to classes or infrastructure that may be required by the student to the Academic Administration Department (AAD).
Access to Materials:
Faculty members are requested to share presentations used in the class with students having visual impairment.
The University ensures that files uploaded on the LMS are compatible with text-to-speech software.
NLS Faculty provide separate office hours to address the doubts of students with disabilities, especially for subjects where graphs, tables and diagrams are used. The Class Representatives and Course Coordinators from the Academic Support Programme are requested to coordinate these sessions.
Accommodation in Examinations:
At least one week before the commencement of the examinations, the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) in consultation with the Academic Administration Department (AAD), works out specific types of accommodation measures, as permitted by the Academic & Examination Regulations, for students with disabilities.
The following support is provided for PWD students at the University:
- Extra time during the examination is offered (for every one hour of the exam, PWD students get additional 20 minutes)
- Extensions are offered without penalty for submission of project / term paper
- Support during the process of registration for elective courses
- The University provides a laptop for the exam for those who need it, and also the soft copy of the question paper.
Significant improvements have been made in the last few months in operationalising the above mentioned processes. The AAD and OSA work together to ensure accommodation during examination and classes. Materials on LMS are also being made available in formats that are accessible in text-to-speech software.
In 2023, the library was redeveloped completely and re-opened on campus. A key goal of this Library redevelopment was to increase ease of use for all, but especially for persons with disabilities. All floors of the Library have been laid with tactile pathways to allow for independent navigation. The Library lift offers access to all floors.
Support provided at the Library:
- Reading materials are given in a readable format.
- The Library staff helps students with disabilities to find the required material in the library based on any requirement of books, chapters, etc.
- Students are informed and made aware of the facilities provided in the library (including use of Scanner, JAWS software, laptop, etc)
- A designated room on the Ground Floor is equipped with Braille printers, JAWS Talking Reader, desktop magnifiers, smart readers and an Online Daisy Player. This room can be used by students for discussion purposes as well.
- Laptops are provided to students with disabilities in the library based on requests.
Digitisation of Books
The digitization of library books continues at a steady speed and we have completed the digitisation of 25,000 volumes already by June 2023. We have enabled access to students on a trial basis, and we look to fully launch the digital lending platform shortly. The Library’s extensive digital materials will be available through https://eresources.nls.ac.in/user/login.
All reading materials for your courses will continue to be available on the LMS.
Disability Support Group (Student Collective)
The Disability Support Group (DSG), a student collective at NLS, has set out a mission to alleviate the challenges faced by the PWD community on campus, with a focus on minimizing inaccessibility. The group endeavors to advocate for the interests and concerns of this community by liaising with the administration in the most effective way possible. Additionally, it seeks to provide assistance to PWD individuals in cases where the existing facilities could be inadequate. Furthermore, the group aims to actively participate in political and social discussions concerning Disability Rights in India.
Know more about the collective here.
Also read: Article on Reducing Barriers: Accessibility at NLSIU.