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Mandela University’s Universal Accessibility and Disability Services (UADS) recently launched a campaign to raise awareness on wheelchair use and accessibility on campus.

The three-day initiative took place on the University’s North, South and Second Avenue campuses.

The campaign, appropriately named ‘IN OUR SHOES’, aimed to enlighten students and staff on disability needs and gave them an opportunity to experience the challenges related to the use of a wheelchair on campus and accessibility for people with disabilities on Mandela University Campuses.

The participants spent at least 40 continuous minutes in a wheelchair. With the help of an assistant, they were required to carry out designated tasks within a prescribed area on each of the campuses. The tasks were varied and involved using the lifts, going to the library and accessing books, getting on and off the transport vehicle, withdrawing money at the ATM, buying food at the cafeteria and using the bathroom facilities.

An important part of the exercise was the report back on the challenges experienced en route. UADS will correlate these findings which will form part of a follow up analysis by the University and its infrastructure department.

The campaign was enthusiastically tackled by participants and their volunteer, assistant pushers and comprehensive feedback was received.

UADS were pleased to have participation from the Vice-Chancellor’s Office and the Students Representative Council (SRC) who gave insight into their experience.

After the event, 10 wheelchairs were handed over by UADS Operations Manager, Athenkosi Nqikashe to the University’s Director of Student Housing, Mxolisi Ncapayi. He expressed his thanks and appreciation for the wheelchairs and shared that the experience was a real eye-opener for him, making him acutely aware of the challenges experienced by wheelchair users.

More ‘IN OUR SHOES’ photographs can be found on Universal Accessibility and Disability Services (UADS) social media pages at: and

Contact information
Mr Ross Dakin
Student Assistant- Public Relations Practitioner
Tel: 041 504 3481