The Office of the Dean of Students is fully engaged in the task of helping transform the university environment into one in which gifted and deserving students with disability will have an equal opportunity to acquire an education and as much as possible participate in the various aspects of university life. This includes facilitating access to university buildings, providing services, awareness activities and advocating for accommodating university policies and procedures. The following support services are available;
- Advocacy and /or advice on issues related to disability
- Suitable accommodation for students with disability.
- Provision of disability aids such as hearing aids,
- Repair and maintenance of mobility, visual and auditory aids
- Sign language training and interpreter services for the hearing impaired
- Braille services and printed material in alternative formats for the visually impaired
- Consultative and counselling support for students with disabilities
- Transport within and outside of the University for students with physical disabilities.
Our mission is to provide an enabling environment for students with disabilities so that they can successfully complete their studies and become productive members of society.
Background of Special Needs Students / Disability
One of the critical aspects of the educational landscape is accessibility. The United Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Kenya Persons with Disability Act 2003 requires institutions of higher learning to provide equitable access to educational opportunities for students with disabilities. Major types of disabilities may include but are not limited to physical/mobility, vision, Deafness and difficulty hearing and albinism.
The University of Nairobi has long been at the forefront in providing reasonable accommodation and services to students with disabilities. This has seen an influx of students with disability enrolled in various degree programs in the recent past. The office of the Dean of Students has been providing disability support services “on an as-needed basis “.
In an effort to improve disability services, the Office of the Dean of Students held two major awareness workshops for the entire University of Nairobi management in 2002 and 2004. At the time, the enrolment of students with disabilities was approximately twenty-five (25). One of the major outcomes of this sensitization workshop was the provision of a disability van by the then Vice-Chancellor Professor Crispus Makau Kiamba. Since then disability services at the university has improved tremendously.
The disability section’s main concern is making the University of Nairobi learning environment conducive for persons with disabilities. To this end, the following activities are currently being implemented;-
Sign language interpretation support services
In an effort to provide equal opportunities for the Deaf, the Office of the Dean of Students first engaged the services of sign language interpreter cum secretary on a temporary basis in 2004. This is after it emerged that there was no post for sign language interpreter and as such, the person engaged had to have shorthand secretarial qualification apart from having sign language skills. However, the interview was cancelled owing to the fact that the advertised post was not that of a secretary as expected. Currently, the section boasts of having in place five (5) sign language interpreters who provide sign language interpretation for both Deaf students and staff as well as on any occasion such as first-year orientation, graduation, meeting, conference, seminar etc
Disabled students Data base
The Office of the Dean of Students has a Database for students with disabilities. Data collection began in the year 2000. This data is necessary for informed decision making and support. Currently, the number of students with disabilities enrolled in various programs has grown to approximately 80 from 20 in 2000 and continues to rise.
Students with visual disability are provided with learning facilities such as laptops with screen reading software (JAWS) i.e Job Access with Speech.
The issue of accessibility as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities still seems a bit farfetched. From infrastructure to assistive devices, the disability section has been striving to provide students with physical and visual disabilities with transport to and from lecture halls and the surrounding areas as needs arise
Assistive devices such as hearing aids, white canes, wheelchairs, crutches, walking sticks etc, are critical in the daily lives of persons with disabilities. The disability section has been providing mobility aids or facilitated in the maintenance of the same in an attempt to ease movement from one place to another within the university and its environs.
Reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities is a right as enshrined in both the Kenya Persons with Disabilities Act of 2003 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The office in collaboration with SWA ensures that some rooms are set aside for students with mobility issues on the ground floor of halls of residence. Male students have rooms reserved for them in Hall 2 and female students in women’s Hall (Box).
Disabled students organisation
The University of Nairobi Students with Disability Organization that had long ceased operation was revived and elections held in 2015. It is now active.
UON Disability Day
There is a need to set aside a disability day to sensitize the University community on how to handle students with disabilities to eliminate the perception that persons with disabilities are different from other abled persons, and to disseminate information to students on available opportunities within and without the university.
Transport for Students with Special Needs
There is a need to have a vehicle that is accessible to wheelchair users to ease movement by students with physical and visual disabilities. The vehicle may be modified to lift students on wheelchairs without necessarily embarrassing the user.
Visually impaired people have the same information needs as sighted people. Just as sighted people might read a newspaper, listen to a CD or download electronic information from the Internet; visually impaired people also want access to relevant information in their chosen accessible format. Developing an efficient library service for print-disabled people is extremely important because there are significantly fewer books available commercially in accessible formats compared to what is published in print for the general public. Libraries have a moral obligation to make information available to all categories of users regardless of their gender, age, race, political affiliation or disability.
The University to also consider having user-friendly facilities in every college/campus. These may include but not limited to ramps, easily accessible lecture rooms and appropriate rooms in the halls of residence as well as appropriately designed washrooms for their use, and ensure that there are lifts and that the existing ones are serviced and in working condition all the time.
All these services to be availed to all students with disabilities regardless of the programmes they are enrolled in, whether government or self-sponsored.
IDS teaching programmes adopt blended learning through the use of face-to-face and online learning modes. The face-to-face learning takes place within the classroom setting at the Main Campus. The online classes are conducted over video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet.
For more information, visit the College of Humanities and Social Sciences website, in the top menu under the Students section.
It is a policy of the University to develop the finest sports talent possible. The University of Nairobi has various sporting facilities which include a swimming pool and pitches for football, hockey, basketball, lawn tennis, athletics, and rugby. The University also has teams that participate in the National leagues. Students are encouraged to participate in sporting activities.
Meals are available on pay-as you-eat basis for resident students at cafeterias conveniently located next to the halls of residence. One can choose to eat out in restaurants located in the vicinity of the respective University campuses. Students are not allowed to cook in the halls of residence.
The university provides outpatient medical services for students and staff at the University Health Services facility. Patients may be referred to specialist doctors and other medical facilities as appropriate. Foreign students are advised to purchase medical insurance on arrival because the medical fees payable during student registration does not cater for the hospital admission.
STUDENT COUNSELING AND WELFARE SERVICES
The office of the Dean of Students caters for non-academic matters of student life, and especially student welfare and conduct. The Dean of Students Office also maintains a regular counselling service for individual students or groups. The aim of this service is to provide an opportunity for students to discuss their problems and to assist them in being realistic about themselves, their potential, independence and their ability to solve their own problems.
Dean of Students
Physical Location: Main Campus Gandhi wing Ground Floor
Telephone: +254 20 4918119
The University of Nairobi is committed to producing holistic graduates who are prepared for the job market and entrepreneurial activities. Vocational and Career guidance services are provided by discussing vocational plans with student and advising government and employment agencies about graduating students and their career interests. Mentorship programmes for students to address career opportunities are organized between students and representatives of various companies, firms, and government departments.
Physical Location: Mahatma Gandhi Building, G8 Office
Telephone: 020-491-8121 / +254 716 398 980
Address: P.O Box 30197 – 00100 Nairobi
Infrastructure, Facilities and Equipment
IDS serves both as a core partner for the East African region for Afrobarometer as well as a national partner responsible for implementing the Kenya survey. Thus, staff, students and other stakeholders can access the Afrobarometer database which covers a wide range of development areas such as democracy, governance, economy and society. These surveys are conducted in 36+ countries in Africa.
As a core partner, IDS provides overall direction and management to the project within the East African region. The institute takes primary responsibility for fundraising and for planning and coordinating programs of work on behalf of the network in the region.
As a national partner, IDS takes the lead in managing the Kenya survey and data management. The institute is also responsible for preparing and disseminating Afrobarometer media briefs, press releases, dispatches, and summaries of results. We play a key role in Afrobarometer communications activities in Kenya.
IDS Students are eligible for The University of Nairobi Scholarships, which are awarded on merit. Click here to get more information.
In addition, some IDS projects offer partial or full funding to IDS students, also awarded on merit.
For additional external sources of funding, students are advised to check on portals such as Academia Kenya