RMIT Vietnam launched a new Disability Resource Centre based at its Saigon South campus to support students and staff with disabilities, and to coincide with International Disability Day on 3 December 2013.
The centre helps identify the students' learning disabilities and provide them with appropriate assessments, support and adjustments and meets all Vietnamese, Australian and international standards.
Ms. Carol Witney, Disability and Learning Skills Advisor at RMIT Vietnam, said the service would provide opportunities for students to access higher education where previously it may not have been an option.
"This is the first service of its kind in Vietnam that supports students and staff with disabilities in a tertiary education institution," she said.
"We're now able to provide a number of services such as general information and resources on disability, diversity and equality, dyslexia screening, reasonable adjustments and equitable assessment arrangements, course materials in accessible formats, access to assistive and educational technologies, support to develop and improve learning strategies, as well as referral to specialist services within the community."
"We're also very keen to continue to develop our close working relationships with organisations such as Learning Strategies, the Disability Research and Capacity Development Centre and the HCMC Disability Working Group, as well as being open to sharing ideas and research with staff and students at other universities in Vietnam."
Vo Thi Kim Ngan, a Design student at RMIT who has been using this service, said it has changed her view on her disability and helped her a lot with her study.
"I was born dyslexic. When I was a little girl, it frustrated me because I couldn't read and learn as fast as my friends did. I didn't know it was because of dyslexia back then," Ngan said.
"The Disability Advisor printed my course materials on yellow papers for me because I read better in that colour. And they told me I was not disabled, I just needed a learning method different from that of my friends. I really appreciated that."
Ms. Huynh Ngoc Bich, Coordinator at DRD, expresses her support for the centre.
"Students with disabilities in Vietnam don't have many choices when it comes to choosing colleges, because the teachers at most of the colleges don't think those students can adapt to their teaching methods," she said.
"The Disability Resource Centre has opened up new doors to the students disabilities, and they will benefit a lot from this professional service."