RMIT Vietnam NewsNew RMIT Vietnam initiative provides equitable access to learning

New RMIT Vietnam initiative provides equitable access to learning

Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 09:04
RMIT Vietnam President Professor Gael McDonald launches RMIT Access at Saigon South campus.
Professional Communication student Huynh Ngoc Duy An demonstrates how she overcomes her learning difficulty by reading through coloured filters.
Students benefiting from digitally enhanced learning materials show staff how the technology helps.

RMIT Vietnam will enable students with a broad range of learning difficulties to have greater access to education, University President Professor Gael McDonald said at the official launch of RMIT Access. 

RMIT Access is an institution-wide initiative that will ensure learning materials are presented in formats that are accessible to everyone,” she said.

“The initiative will help us transition to the use of enhanced digitally inclusive learning resources.”

Professor McDonald told the crowd that RMIT Global had demonstrated their support for the transition with a substantial funding investment.

The funding will allow use of additional assistive devices and technologies such as screen readers and transcription software.

Professor McDonald pointed out that the initiative will benefit students whether or not they have been formally assessed with a learning difference.

“Sixty-seven students have registered with RMIT Vietnam’s Equity and Disability Resource Centre – a number that has tripled every year since it was first established in 2013 – but RMIT Access will benefit many, many more than that,” she said.

An estimated 1 in 25 people in Vietnam are visually impaired, while fifteen to twenty per cent of the world’s population is thought to have a language-based learning disability.

Coordinator of the Equity and Disability Resource Centre Carol Witney said she has seen firsthand the transformative impact that accessible learning materials have had on students.

“A student who was failing two of three courses came to the Centre for help and after an assessment we provided the student with accessible materials,” Ms Witney said.

“This individual went on to pass all three courses with distinction and high distinction." 

“I watched this individual transform from feeling that they may not be capable of succeeding to realising that they are actually perfectly capable of achieving their goals.

“It was a humbling experience.”

Story: Howie Phung