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6 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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CU visually impaired students face shortage of Braille books

HABIBULLA MASUM, CU

Visually impaired students of Chittagong University (CU) are facing a shortage of Braille books and reading assistants in the varsity’s central library. They allege that the CU authorities have failed to ensure adequate facilities for them. According to the Disabled Students’ Society of Chittagong University (DISSCU), a total of 91 physically challenged and visually impaired students study in the university. Even though the central library has four computers, they cannot use them owing to lack of manpower and a computer hub. Of the four computers, two were donated by an NGO for the physically challenged students of the university, said DISSCU sources.

The visually impaired and physically challenged students are enrolled in various departments like sociology, political science, international relations, Islamic history, history, philosophy, Bangla, English, and law.

Humaun Kabir, president of the DISSCU, told The Independent: “We can’t study like normal students. We read from Braille books, but there are no such academic books in the department’s seminar room or central library. We’re facing a huge problem.”

“There is no disabled manpower in the library to help us. Only a disabled person can understand the problems of other disabled persons. The authorities should recruit some visually challenged employees just as they have done in Dhaka University,” he said.

“As there are not enough Braille books, we have to do our assignments by listening to friends who can spare some time to read out the lessons. They sometimes record their lessons. For that, they have to spend money. There is also no reading assistant for us,” said Shajahan, a member of DISSCU and also a former secretary of the organisation.

According to sources, the library has around 4,000 Braille books, including books prescribed in the syllabus, English language magazines, novels, and journals. Besides, the library has around 1,500 audio-visual resources.

The sources said the university authorities had launched a project in 2013 to publish several academic Braille books at a cost of Tk. 25, 000. But the project was scrapped after the publisher failed to meet the deadline.

“It’s also very difficult to go to the central library and read books with help of our friends, as the library is located far from our dormitory,” said Rumana Afroz, a visually impaired student of the political science department.

“Teachers always speak in English in the class. We can’t understand as normal students are able to. We need teachers’ help,” she added. Taking to The Independent, the chief librarian, AKM Mahfuzul Haque Khokon, said: “The central library has a special corner for disabled persons. Only a few students use it.

The corner, which has four computers for the disabled students, can be opened regularly if more people come.”

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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