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Educational Visit to Malaysian Association of the Blind: An Eye-opening Experience for IMU Nursing Students

01 Jun 2021

On 19 April 2021, my colleague and I, both NU118 Nursing students from IMU, had the opportunity to visit the Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB), Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur. We were accompanied by Madam Yee Bit Lian, our nursing lecturer, to the center to learn more about the visually impaired, since we had learnt about ENT and Eye in one of our modules for Semester 5. It was an eye-opening experience for us to learn more about the everyday lives of the visually impaired, especially with regards to their education and to equip them with skills that can prepare them for their future careers. Upon arrival, we were greeted and briefed by George Thomas (Chief Executive Officer) and Dr Jacqueline Emmanuel (Senior Manager, Service- Welfare, Job Placement and Low Vision). They introduced us to the history of the center and how it was established. After that, they gave a tour around the building and showed us the facilities provided in the center. Some of the rooms shown to us were the audio room (where the students recorded music and broadcasted them on radio channels), the printing room with Braille embossers and printers (where they produce Braille books for learning purposes), the library (where they store Braille books bought locally and internationally, as well as audio books that are stored in CDs) and is open to public for the Blind. We were also shown some of the things that are specially made for the blind, such as an audio-equipped calculator and watch, chess set, a globe with Braille labelling and depths on the surface to outline different countries.

Any visually impaired who is interested to pick up some computer skills are more than welcome here to learn. They can learn how to use Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel to help equip themselves for office jobs should they be interested to work in an office one day.

Other than young adults, blind children as young as two years old are provided with classes to assist them in daily living activities (such as communicating, walking and writing) to help them navigate the world around them. Activities to improve their motor skills through games are also provided at the center.

Volunteers are also welcomed to visit the center to help, such as in recording audio books to expand their variety of books available in the library. Overall, it was an informative and interesting experience to visit the center as we get to learn more about the visually impaired and what we, as the general public, can do to help them. It was a pleasure to meet the people running the center and it would be beneficial to allow more IMU students to visit in the future and help them out. Written by: Ngu Kah Fui and Rachel Netto A/P Joseph Gerald Netto (NU118 students) Reviewed by: Madam Yee Bit Lian and Dr Lim Swee Geok

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