The Center for Disability Studies and Services (CDSS) Universitas Brawijaya is an institution which has function as the center of research on disability issues and also it gives services to people with disabilities in Universitas Brawijaya. CDSS UB is established on March 19, 2012. It is due to inaccessible access to education for people with disabilities, while the rights for them to non-discriminative education is issued on the Law of Indonesia Republic and International Convention.
Due to the inaccessibility to higher education for people with disabilities, less than one percent of people with disabilities in Indonesia have diploma. In Indonesia, the model of education for people with disabilities is still segregative and gives special education in boarding school format. This model excludes them from non-disabled students to another environment. It affects their readiness to involve in wider social realm.
The access to higher education also has some barriers making them difficult to find a way to be students at university. One of the requirements says “the students have no disabilities.” Previously, Universitas Brawijaya also has no accessible infrastructures for them. Knowledge of Brawijaya people on disability issues is also less, even though they have a philosophical identity inherent in their logo, namely dynamics, universality, and justice.
CDSS UB Since The Establishment
Initiated by several academicians who formed an advocacy team consisting of Fadillah Putra S.Sos, M.Si, M.P.Aff, Slamet Thohari, S.Fil, M.A, Ir. Agustina Shinta, MP, Patricia Audrey R, S.H, M.Kn, dr. Eko Nugroho, Sp. KFR, George Towar Ikbal Tawakkal, S.IP, M.Si and Ulfah Fatmala Rizky as researchers completing their undergraduate degree titled “Inclusive College Policy for Persons with Disabilities (Study on Inclusive Policy Advocacy at the Universitas Brawijaya) in collaboration with several institutions namely FIA UB Laboratory of Public Policy and Development Planning (LKP3), UB’s Center for South South Cooperation Studies (PKKSS UB), and Helen Keller International Indonesia, the aim of initiating inclusive campus for people with disabilities, and making UB as a pioneer of inclusive campus in Indonesia.
The initial step taken by the advocacy team was conducting a hearing aimed at including inclusive campus programs into the policies of the Universitas Brawijaya. The audience participants, namely the Advocacy Team, UB Rector (Prof. Dr. Ir. Yogi Sugito), UB’s Vice Rector I (Prof. Dr. Ir. Bambang Suharto, MS), Head of BAAK UB, Head of UB BAU, and students with disabilities.
The process of hearing was held at January 31 2012, 10.00 WIB, in Meeting Room Rectorate 7th Floor. In the hearing process, the advocacy team proposed some grand design of inclusive campus. However, at that time there were still concerns about facilities and infrastructure and human resources to facilitate people with disabilities. Because until the hearing was held, Universitas Brawijaya did not have adequate facilities and infrastructure as well as human resources. This concern was also raised by the Head of BAAK UB, “Which one must be prepared first? Supporting facilities in UB or accepting people with disabilities?”
In line with the question of the Head of BAAK UB, BAU UB also said, “I think that the facilities and infrastructure at UB are still unable to support the needs of people with disabilities,”
In addition, UB’s Vice Rector I also expressed the same concerns through questions, “What about lectures? Are our teaching staff ready to serve students with disabilities?” (Interview with BAAK UB Head, BAU Head, and UB’s Vice Rector I in hearing on January 31 2012 at Rector Meeting, Rectorate Building 7th Floor.)
Head of BAAK UB also said, “Indeed, UB should have accepted students with disabilities, but if we look at the facilities and infrastructure and the availability of human resources, I think UB is still not ready for the students, even though I strongly support this program,” (Interview with Head of BAAK UB, January 16 2012, in his office).
The UB Rector emphasized more on institutions that would facilitate students with disabilities. He said, “It is necessary to establish an institution which will carry out programs in the grand design, and facilitate students with disabilities.”
From the hearing process on January 31, 2012, UB’s Rector agreed to receive the grand design of the inclusive campus as part of UB’s policy. Results achieved in this hearing are:
- Establishing Center for Disability Studies and Services as an institution facilitating students with disabilities and carrying out the programs in the grand design;
- Implement SPKPD and provide 20 quotas, as one of the affirmative steps to provide access for students with disabilities;
- UB’s Rector will also provide scholarships for students with disabilities who cannot afford it. He said, “for students with disabilities who are not able to, we will be prioritized to get scholarships.” (Interview with UB’s Rector on February 27 2012 in Rector Room).
This statement answered the anxiety of the advocacy team related to the high costs, because it is equated with the SPMK SPP fee (Selection through Interests and Capabilities).
After the long process, the management structure of PSLD UB was arranged for the first time:
Fadillah Putra S.Sos, M.Si, M.P.Aff
Slamet Thohari, S.Fil, M.A
Ir. Agustina Shinta, MP
Human Resource Division:
Patricia Audrey R, S.H, M.Kn
dr. Eko Nugroho, Sp.KFR
George Towar Ikbal Tawakkal, S.IP, M.Si
Ari Pratiwi, S.Psi, M.Si
After the policy proposal was created, the next step was to approve it. The advocacy team submitted a draft of the Rector’s Decree, which contained the profiles and personnel of CDSS UB as described above on February 27, 2012. The draft was then ratified on March 19, 2012.
After CDSS UB was established, the process of formulating policies was related to the acceptance of new students with disability, handed over to CDSS. On March 22, 2012, PSLD held a meeting to discuss the selection process for new students with disabilities. The Rector decided that the selection for students with disabilities would be opened, namely Seleksi Penerimaan Khusus Penyandang Disabilitas (SPKPD/Selection and Enrolment for Students with Disabilities). Initially, the Rector’s Decree to ratify the SPKPD was not in line with the initial expectations of the CDSS, because the SPKPD was still segregative and discriminatory. For this reason, CDSS held a meeting again with the Rector of UB on March 27, 2012. The meeting was aimed at making UB’s Rector willing to change his decision. However, the UB Rector’s decision was unanimous, the Rector choosed SPKPD, because SPKPD was considered to provide greater opportunities for students with disabilities to enroll more effectively because the target was persons with disabilities, the needs of persons with disabilities could be coordinated more easily, competition occured between persons with disabilities. Then the Chancellor of UB also said:
“SPKPD is not a discrimination for persons with disabilities, as well as the Bidik Misi and Penjaringan Siswa Berprestasi (PSB), which are intended specifically for prospective students who are unable and have achievements in the academic or non-academic fields,” (interview with UB Rector on March 27, 2012, in the UB Rector Room).
It was the journey of the establishment of CDSS UB to get to an inclusive campus which was officially established on March 19, 2012. However, everything did not stop there because the newly formed CDSS UB still had many shortcomings such as the absence of a room for CDSS UB, lack of intensity of board meetings, principle differences between members. Therefore, decisions are often difficult. As time goes by, CDSS UB has its own office located in the 1st floor of UB’s Rectorate Building on Jalan Veteran, Malang 65145, East Java-Indonesia. Until recently, CDSS UB continues to improve its quality by completing its facilities and improving the quality of its human resources.