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Bringing Hope Through Online Tuition Aid to Malaysian Blind Students
by Stevens Chan, President of Glaucoma Society Malaysia and founder of SOS Missions Bhd and Dialogue in the Dark Malaysia
Audio Version – Bringing Hope Through Online Tuition Aid to Malaysian Blind Students
Since the 19th century, the Blind, thanks to Louis Braille, were able to read and write. Indeed, Braille helped to transform the education landscape of the often left-behind Blind and Visually Impaired communities. Because of Braille, many Blind throughout the world were educated and the past decades have even produced many scholars and professionals. One well-known example was Helen Keller.
However, the Braille script did have slight hindrances. Do you know that Braille books are bulky? For the equivalent of a normal 100-page textbook, 10 Braille books need to be produced. This makes such books bulky and nonportable. It is also very expensive to produce such books which can amount to RM1500.00 per book. Braille books often cause millions of taxpayers’ money which are incurred by the Ministry of Education.
Other challenges include changes in syllabuses which can occur quite often in our nation’s education climate. Each time the syllabus is modified, the already often left behind Blind and Visually Impaired students must wait for at least 1.5 – 2 years before the new Braille books with the latest syllabus arrives. Meanwhile, the already-stretched Special Education teachers must adapt and innovate their teaching methods to make sure these Blind students stay updated in their learning.
Currently, Covid-19 has closed all schools. So how can, and how will these impaired students learn? Since 2016, our Christian Non-Profit Organization, SOS Missions Bhd and Dialogue in the Dark Malaysia has been collaborating with our nation’s public listed and largest education content provider, Sasbadi Online. Sasbadi Online has kindly agreed to work with us to make their existing online and mobile learning platform accessible for Blind students to navigate and to use the contents for their learning.
With the current easy Mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity and the advancement of technology, the Blind and other Visually Impaired students’ education landscape can be transformed again! These often left behind students can now learn safely and remotely within their comfort level, regardless of the pandemic!
Blind students can now learn without having to wait for the latest syllabus. They can learn in our nation’s 3 major languages – Malay, English, and Mandarin – and even have access to a virtual dictionary for all three of these languages. This tool was never available for them in Braille, and the best news of all, learning can now be done safely and remotely!
On top of this learning breakthrough, we have also equipped and enabled three of our Visually and Physically Impaired facilitators to be their tutors and coaches, empowering the community not only through learning but also providing a way to earn a living.
Since 2016 we have managed to renovate this learning platform to be 80% accessible and friendly enough for Blind students to navigate and use for their learning. We have also, thanks to the support of many public donors and corporate foundations, provided this tuition and coaching aid for 200 Blind, and Visually and Hearing-Impaired students studying in 11 Special and Mixed public schools nationwide every year. For more info about our works do visit our website www.learningincludes.com
Our work has recently been selected to compete and be a part of the Accelerator programme on the Global Giving platform which is an acclaimed CrowdFunding platform in the USA and UK. If we can successfully raise USD5,000.00 by the 28th of June, besides from being able to gain global awareness for our works, it will also open many possible doors of funding and partnership opportunities, thus giving our works a better chance to scale and expand beyond Malaysia and help even more Blind and other Impaired students globally.
Please help us to transform the education and learning landscape of these precious ones. Quality education can elevate the many Impaired communities out of poverty.
Below are some video links to provide some information about our work:
Our Video links
Link to our Campaign on Global Giving :
Help us to make a difference in the lives of the Impaired students! There are currently an estimated 60,000 of them studying in 5500 Special and Mixed schools nationwide. GOD bless you for your kindness.
About Stevens Chan: Stevens Chan is the Founder of SOS Missions Bhd and Dialogue in the Dark Malaysia. Out of the bleakest moment of his life after losing his eyesight to glaucoma, the Lord has raised him up to the ministry of aiding and advocating the less advantaged community in Malaysia. He currently also serves as the president of the Glaucoma Society Malaysia.