Marking the International Day of People with Disabilities, which comes this year under the slogan “The Future is Accessible”, the President of the University of Jordan (UJ), Dr. Abdul Karim Al-Qudah patronized the launch of “My Tree and My Friend's Tree” initiative on Campus.
The initiative is organized by the Community Development and Service Center with the participation of students with disability at the University.
In his remarks at the launching ceremony, Al-Qudah said UJ is keen to maintain a model and effective educational environment and seeks to provide an equal chance of learning and achievement for all students.
Director of the center, Dr. Nihad Al-Bateikhi, said that the initiative comes in coordination with the Students' Union and the School of Science and has allocated 350 trees to plant them on UJ campus.
Al-Bateikhi added that the trees were donated by the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Agriculture of Jordan, concluding that the initiative aims at involving students with disabilities in the University's goals and extracurricular activities.
In addition to planting trees, this event displayed stories of success and self-determination of persons with disabilities who were able to overcome significant challenges and lead successful lives.
The International Day of People with Disabilities is an annual international observance on December 3 promoted by the UN since 1992.
According to the Director of Student Counseling Department at the Deanship of Student Affairs, Ghada Hamad, about 375 students with disabilities are currently studying at UJ divided into three categories; hearing disabilities, visual disabilities, and physical disabilities.
UJ has been striving to become a leader in services for students with disabilities in Jordan; students with disabilities at the University are offered a 90% discount on tuition fees if disability is 40% or more.
The University strives to ensure that people with disabilities have access to campus and all facilities: accommodation of routes on campus to be easy for them and wheelchair-friendly is a continuous aim of the Department; efforts also are targeted towards making buildings and study halls accessible in a way to ease their movement around campus.
Hamad added that the Department provides a range of specialized services for students with disabilities, including academic assistance services and sign language interpreters.
She stated that the Department is also entitled to spread awareness about their needs and rights to equal access to higher education for students of disabilities at campus.