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Accessibility for person with disabilities

The College has been very much aware to the needs of its Differently Abled Students and has been sparing no efforts to make education and all College facilities fully accessible to them. This sensitivity and concern for accessibility extends to differently abled faculty and other employees and has existed long before Equal Opportunities Cell of University of Delhi started drawing attention of Colleges to such issues.

The College makes every effort to provide barrier free mobility to all PWD students everywhere in the College. Ramps and signages on passages have been provided. Where 100% barrier free mobility cannot be assured, classes for PWD students are conducted on ground floor to cause minimum inconvenience to them. In the very near future College plans to build elevators to enable students with limited ability to have access to every part of the College.

As early as 2008-09 session, SLC installed "Screen Reading Softwares" on all the 20 desktop computers in its Computer Lab II (that was set up in that year). This enabled visually impaired students as well as teachers to work independently on any of the computers in the new lab. This made SLC the first college in DU to make its entire computer lab accessible for visually impaired students. Since then, visually impaired students can work on computers along with the rest of the class, instead of working in isolation.

At the start of each session, the College organizes a meeting with the PWD students wherein the students are assured of all the required support from the College in enabling them to carry on all activities in and outside the class just like other students. In such meetings some of the faculty, specially those who are themselves differently abled talk to the students to reassure them in all respects. During the session workshops are conducted with them to provide them information about the existing facilities, and enabling them to use these effectively.

During 2012-13, the College purchased Angel Pro device (14 pieces, each costing about. 9000/-) and provided these for use by visually impaired students during their stay in College. This device helps students to play recorded lectures in MP3 and DAISY formats, to listen to E-text in doc, txt and htm format, and actually record 4 hours of lecture at a time, thus reducing their dependence on others for their studies. All the same, College, through its NSS wing arranges for readers for visually impaired students.

Subsequently, Equal Opportunity Cell of DU provided notebook computers for all the PWD students of the College, on its part SLC conducted a 3 month training program for students to effectively use these notebooks with the help of special softwares such as "Screen Reading Software", Optical Character Recognition "(OCR) Software, "Low Vision Reading" software and independent internet browsing software. These softwares were either pre-installed on the notebooks, or were provided to them free of cost. Currently the College has to collect the note books from its outgoing students and make them available to newly admitted students. The College hopes that EOC, Delhi University will assure that all newly admitted students will be provided note books. On its part, SLC plans to cover the gap on its own.

In the past, one of the PWD students of the College has been selected by DU to participate along with other selected students in Academic Excellence Program in United Kingdom. This group of students was sent to UK for about 2 weeks where they mingled with PWD students of that country and were made aware of recent technological developments that could enable them to lead an almost normal and barrier free life. This student acknowledged the role of SLC in getting him selected in the program and after the conclusion of the program shared his experiences with other students of the College.

The College gets the PWD students in touch with EOC so that they can use all the support and facilities provided by the latter. These facilities include recording of text books, using the E-text resources of EOC, etc.

During 2012, the College for the first time set up a PWD Room with necessary facilities for students. After the recent renovation, the College plans a much more ideally located PWD room. A dedicated space has been allocated for such a facility, and there are plans to equip this facility with all the available modern gadgets and technological supports (including desktops with head phones and required softwares).

The College has installed a special flat bed scanner on a dedicated desk top computer to enable visually impaired students to scan books (including large books). Further English and Indian language OCR softwares were purchased and installed on this computer to convert scanned pages into readable text.

Following the renovation, the College is in the process of putting up braille signages outside all the classrooms, office, labs, staff room and the like.

SLC encourages its faculty and students to participate in conferences, workshops, etc. to make them aware of all the progress taking place around the world to provide accessibility solutions for the differently abled. A notable example is Techshare, a biennial conference organized by BarrierBreak Technologies, an organization involved in developing and providing such solutions for differently abled. Some of the faculty have been regularly attending this Conference for getting updated on accessibility solutions.

The College strongly believes that all students including the differently abled deserve to lead a dignified and independent life, and no constraint should be allowed to come in its way. Above all, the College has sensitized the faculty and support staff to the special needs of the differently abled to enable them to have access to all facilities in the institution, and, at the same time, to participate in all events and activities while being a part of the mainstream of the College.

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