Asrat Robel is a 23-year-old student from Dilla University. Asrat tells us about taking a Bachelor’s degree in civics and educational ethics, despite the challenges brought by Asrat being visually impaired.
Three years ago in 2016/2017, I came to Dilla from a town called Wolita Sodo. My town is located in the southern part of Ethiopia and is 313 Km from the capital Addis Ababa and 159 Km from Dilla University.
The way to success
The keys to my success were my hard work, attending the classroom regularly, and active participation.
Challenges faced during campus life
There were challenges during campus life, especially during the first year as there was a lack of books for students with visual impairment/ braille material and an inadequate supply of voice recordings. Even if it was possible to get a “softcopy” of the learning materials there was a lack of functional computers that could be used to access them. The other main challenge I faced was the inaccessibility of the campus compound.
To overcome such challenges, I used different techniques. I have good friendships with none disabled classmates and due to these relationships, I received support from students I shared the dorms with and classmates. Students would help me by reading books and learning materials and recording it on a voice recorder.
In addition to other student’s help, I also had good relationships with my teachers. Most teachers in our department are committed to helping us both in the classroom and outside of the classroom. For instance, one of my instructors was willing to answer my questions by allowing me to call him.
Additionally, we/SwDs and teachers tried to influence the management to change our classes to the main campus which is more suitable for SWD than our current campus, even though it still needs some modifications to be more accessible.
Social life at University
After class, I enjoyed spending time with my friends outside of the student compound.
After graduation, I want to serve the community faithfully. For instance, if I was to be hired as a teacher, I want to commit myself to giving all that I have to my students. Also, I want to improve myself by continuing with my MA degree. I want to recommend that Swd joining the university be social with their classmates and those they share dorms with. Also, to respect their teachers, even though they face challenges on campus they have to demand their rights peacefully.