THE College Lectures Association of Zimbabwe (COLAZ) is set to establish disability resource centres in tertiary institutions as part of efforts to promote equal access to education by people with disabilities.
The initiative, which commenced this year, is in line with the National Disability Policy launched by President Mnangagwa last year with the aim to improve educational facilities to cater for people with disabilities.
COLAZ president Mr David Dzatsunga said the establishment of resource centres had already started at the University of Zimbabwe, Mutare Polytechnic and several other institutions.
“The establishment of disability resource centres is a call to people with disabilities who have been relegated to the periphery to proceed with education.
“In line with the National Disability Policy, we are following up on all our colleges to accommodate people with disabilities so that they are initiated for real fields in different workplaces they want to venture into,” he said.
“Our aim is to make sure that we lobby all institutions to have disability resource centres and make an impact on communities in terms of integrating people with disabilities so that they do not feel left out”.
People with disabilities continue to face challenges in all institutions of learning owing to unfriendly environments which have not been tailor-made to suit their needs.
Mr Dzatsunga said COLAZ was interested in equipping colleges with facilities to make education easy for people with disabilities.
Mr Peter Masendeke, another Colaz representative, said the plan was to extend the establishment of resource centres to all institutions across the country.
“We have so many higher learning tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe and only two or three are equipped with disability resource centres and we are saying this is a form of discrimination on people with disabilities and the set up has to be changed.
“We want to establish disability resource centres in all our higher tertiary institutions for people with disabilities to access their academics easily and the industrial training colleges and Purple Science has been helping us,” he said.
He said people with disabilities should have many choices of institutions they want to be enrolled with.
Speaking at the same event, Ms Samantha Sibanda, an activist, said the establishment of disability resource centres was progressive and is in line with the National Development Strategy 1 targets to end discrimination.
“People with disabilities are different and cannot fall into one bracket hence the establishment of disability resource centres has to accommodate everyone and be in line with NDS 1, which aims to include everyone in the development of the country,” she said.
She commended the COLAZ to create the resource centres according to disabilities such as hearing impairment, visual impairment and other disabilities.