Arba Minch University Students Support Service Directorate has recently held a meeting with all university physically-challenged students, to hear their grievances and to honor those select few who won gold, silver and bronze medals at Haramaya Sports Festival at Main Campus.

‘‘The issue of disability has been a matter of primary concern for us, and now we are looking into their issues. College deans and other concerned authority would undertake awareness drive; we would also modify existing infrastructure and make it convenient for their mobility,’’ AMU President, Dr Feleke Woldeyes said.

He further said, ‘‘We heard the problems they are facing and AMU is committed to create better living conditions for them. Soon we would collaborate with Arba Minch Rehabilitation Centre in Arba Minch and Centre for Disable People in Addis Ababa to facilitate necessary assistance for them, Dr Feleke added.

Students Support Service Directorate Director, Dr Paulos, revealed that AMU would soon establish Disable Students’ Resource Centre, which stands to offer slew of services i.e. assistive devices like wheel-chair, crutches and prosthetics for physically challenged.

Braille paper, Braille Board, soft copies of books for blind, deaf students would be given sign language training, as AMU would soon have an understanding with Ethiopian Centre of Disability Organization, Addis Ababa.

AMU soon would sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Arba Minch rehabilitation Centre, which will open an avenue of diversified assistive services to physically-challenged students.

Arba Minch Rehabilitation Centre Manager, Mr Tafesse Chibro, who graced the meeting said, ‘‘Soon, we will sign an MoU with AMU; this partnership would mainly focus on technical and material support to disabled students of the university that include prosthetic services, wheelchair, crutches as well as physiotherapy services.

We will carry out awareness campaign in all campuses to strike out the stigma attached to disability and seek strong support from university instructors for disabled students, Mr Tafesse added.

On the occasion, some of the students shared their grievances with the president, who gave them patient hearing and assured to provide positive solution in near future.

Gold medal winners, Yimegnushal Wazge, Kebebush Moges and Oman Okello; Yetemwork Habtamu who bagged silver and bronze medal for their excellent performances and others were felicitated by giving certificate of honour and dinner that followed.

Student Support Service office coordinator, Mr Zalalem, conducted the meeting.

By Philips Joseph