Dayhouse for disabled students launched

28 May 2007 | Story by Chris McEvoy

New facility: The Abigail Mlotchwa Dayhouse for Disabled Students was officially opened by Reinette Popplestone, manager of Disability Service and Moonira Kahn, Executive Director of Student Affairs.

The new Abigail Mlotchwa Dayhouse for Disabled Students was officially opened in the Steve Biko Students' Union Building on 24 May.

The dayhouse is equipped with computers, a kitchen and a lounge area and special provisions made for disabled students include a bedroom for those with back or head injuries. The dayhouse is completely wheelchair-accessible, and all chairs are higher than normal to allow for easier transfer between chair and wheelchair. The kitchen is equipped with two microwaves, one with a touch pad, the other with dials and buttons.

'Touch pads are fine for people with upper limb paralysis, but useless for blind people, who need the dials and buttons to feel their way.' explains Reinette Popplestone, manager of Disability Service.

'The dayhouse serves as a base for disabled students, where they can relax and interact,' says Popplestone. 'Essentially it's a safe, chill-out space.'

The dayhouse is named in memory of Abigail Mlotchwa, a disabled undergraduate humanities student who died suddenly over the Easter weekend from a brain hemorrhage. Abigail was a student activist who lobbied for the formation of the dayhouse on campus.

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