The University of Rwanda (UR) on June 8 launched the Answer Project, also referred to as as the Advanced Inclusion for Students with Disabilities in Higher Education in Rwanda. The project, a partnership with several other local and international institutes, is geared towards equipping Rwandan high education stakeholders with adequate knowledge, skills, capacities, and technology, to tackle the gap between policy implementation in terms of inclusion, accessibility, and disability. One of the objectives of the Answer Project is to stimulate active collaboration and networking between policymakers, education personnel, NGOs, the private sector, and other relevant stakeholders. Additionally, it intends to nurture a discussion on the current status of inclusion in higher education and provide recommendations through the implantation of a round table. Françoise Tengera Kayitare, UR Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance, said that the project is exciting. Different institutions have collaborated, she said, and the noble endeavor is in line with the UR policy, and guidelines of inclusive learning and teaching services. She stressed that the underlying principle is to avail academic space in which students and staff with special needs are assured of equal benefits in all UR colleges. “The Answer Project is vividly a driving force armed in relation to modernising human disability inclusive abilities, and strengthening organisational structures, thus allowing partners to lead the way towards better inclusion and accessibility for students with disabilities,” she stressed. Kayitare explained that the Answer Project’s purpose is very relevant as it will help to improve accessibility, ensure better learning conditions, and foster positive change towards inclusion, for the students within the context of Rwanda, and the education system through modern inclusive practices, training, and networking. The project intends to generate an inclusive framework, through the creation and expansion of support centers for students with disabilities, frame an international policy to devise pathways for an inclusive higher education system, and equip them with assisting technologies in order to enhance services provided for students with disabilities. She also emphasised that the project is about ensuring sustainability and ownership of the project results, in all universities, and other institutions becoming agents of change, for real inclusion within the higher education system. “As the University of Rwanda, we are pleased to state and pledge that we shall support the initiative to engage with the employers, policymakers, and civil society organisations to become enablers for economic growth and social development, by tapping into unexploited talents of students with special needs,” Kayitare noted. According to Florien Nsanganwimana, the Acting principal of UR, the project will bridge the gap between policies that impact on people with disabilities, especially students. “All the policies speak about the support that students require, but when it comes to implementation, we are usually stuck. Now that the gaps are known, we shall provide adequate resources to support students with disability. This starts from the capacity of our teams to support learners,” he said. Nsanganwimana noted that UR’s management is expected to initiate a program for staff capacity building, and strengthen the already existing resource room, adding that such facilities will support learning for students with disabilities. “We shall have three students’ support centers in addition to those already in place by using available resources, and share our experiences, and learn from other universities that could be advanced in resourcing competence, especially international universities like the University of Alicante, and University of Macedonia.” Pacifique Ndungutse, a visually impaired secondary school teacher, and a former University of Rwanda graduate, believes that the Answer Project will help people with disabilities be accepted in society, and to curb barriers they encounter in university institutions. “We have many challenges which have pushed many students with special needs to drop out of school as they aren’t offered the necessary help needed, lack the essential equipment, and improper structure that limits them to access some facilities. However, he is optimistic that the project will enable them to acquire education and compete at the job market.