News

Cross-Disciplinary Centres create new pathways for our students


8 September 2016

Amrita Ramjas is studying creative arts in early childhood education
Amrita Ramjas is studying creative arts in early childhood education

The University of Sydney’s Centre for Disability Studies and the Centre for Disability Research Policy are providing opportunities for students at the Faculty of Education and Social Work to excel.

Affiliated with the Sydney Medical School, the Centre for Disability Studies is expanding its award-winning Inclusive Education Program into a new three-year scheme with an inbuilt internship.

Now called uni 2 beyond, the program provides people with intellectual disability the chance to explore their passions at university, studying alongside a current University of Sydney student mentor on a range of subjects - from music education to business studies.

From September 2016, uni 2 beyond student Amrita Ramjas will embark on a paid corporate internship at the MIEngineers.

For Amrita Ramjas, the opportunity to work in an engineering firm holds special significance, helping to fulfil a lifelong dream of gaining experience in the same field as her father who is an engineer.

“I want to learn new things and to be able to take on challenges so that I know I could manage doing new things,” said Amrita Ramjas, who is studying creative arts in early childhood education this semester.

“I am so excited - it is a great opportunity to show people what I can do. I feel very happy to finally get to do something like this.”

Zhila is now working full-time as a Project Manager at Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW (MDAA)
Zhila is now working full-time as a Project Manager at Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW (MDAA)

For Zhila Hasanloo, who has been a Research Affiliate with the Centre for Disability Research and Policy, her PhD in Education provided the springboard to pursue her passions.

Zhila is visually impaired, and her research focus was on disability rights, the disability arts movement and the social model of disability.

“I chose to study at the University of Sydney because I found a fantastic supervisor there,” Zhila said.

She found studying at Sydney to be inclusive, though learning how to communicate her needs with Assistive Technology at the University took time.

“I needed to be clear with my needs and be assertive to raise them whenever I needed,” she said.

Affiliated with the Faculty of Health Sciences, the centre aims to change the disadvantage that occurs for people with disabilities, through addressing their social and economic participation in society, and their health and wellbeing.

Zhila is now working full-time as a Project Manager at Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW (MDAA), which focuses on women with intellectual disability and sexual abuse in the state.