The UKZN Disability Support Unit cordially invites you to register and/or submit an abstract for the 2022 Disability Online Research Indaba: “The new normal”: Embracing a post-pandemic inclusive higher education landscape.

Synopsis and overview: 

The COVID-19 pandemic created opportunities for institutes of higher learning to readdress, adapt, and transform teaching and learning pedagogy towards more blended approaches, to successfully deliver established academic programs. The right to an equitable Higher Education being a clear human rights trajectory and a social justice concern, evident in the South African Strategic Policy Framework on Disability for the Post-School Education and Training System (2018), United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006), and the Sustainable Development Goals-2030 Agenda, saw institutes of higher learning critically address living and learning barriers emerging from the ensuing pandemic. More recently, the World Health Organisation Report (2020), provided exceptional considerations and new knowledge to reduce and manage the spread of COVID-19 for persons with disabilities.

Interestingly, a further concern emanating since the emergence of the pandemic and the transition to the “New Normal”, drew attention to contextual realities, new trajectories, and spaces to embed the evolution of disability specific service delivery, to support student perseverance, retention, and success outcomes. Essentially, this enabled more inclusive and wider access and participation to institutes of higher learning in the face of extreme adversity. As we proceed towards a post-pandemic higher education landscape, it is essential that the transitionary measures that have emerged throughout the COVID-19 moment are embraced fully to establish a truly inclusive higher education setting.

This Online Indaba opens conversations through participation, dialogue, and reasoning, which aims to focus on the theme of:

“The new normal”: Embracing a post-pandemic inclusive higher education landscape.

The Indaba invites submissions focusing on the following broad key areas:

  • Universal design for learning (UDL)
  • Reasonable accommodations
  • Digitising the teaching and learning experience
  • Social integration
  • Mental health, resilience and wellness
  • Stigma management and reduction
  • Disability rights and Self-representation
  • Transformation and inclusive policy arrangements
  • Mainstream transitioning of students with disabilities
  • Delivery of South African sign language (SASL) interpreting services

13 May 2022 – Abstract submission and registration opens

24 June 2022 – Abstract submission closes

10 July 2022 – Notification to authors of acceptance

24 July 2022 – Resubmission of revised abstracts

12 October 2022 – Indaba


The Indaba will be virtually hosted via Zoom on 12 October 2022 from 08h00 to 16h30.

Zoom registration: Click here

Abstract submission: Click here

For any enquiries, please contact Dr Ashley Subbiah at

See attached poster.

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