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Blind students begin higher education

September 9, 2013 | Campus News

While blindness is a physical impediment, it is not a barrier to embarking on tertiary studies as exemplified by 4 visually impaired youths who are determined not to let the disability to get in their way as they pursue their aspirations.

Blaise Yong Jih Sie, 20, from Keningau in Sabah, Krshmann Vijay Kumaran, 18, from Batu Caves in Selangor, Lee Yong Pin, 23, from Penang, and Toh Chin Yuan, 18, from Muar in Johor, commenced the Diploma in Business IT course recently at DISTED College.

DISTED senior lecturer Jayaeswari Sangaralingam remarked: “The quartet is the pioneer cohort of blind students at the college.”

“We like to help those with visual disability to develop their knowledge and skills to a higher level to make a difference in their lives and become a part for the talent pool in the community that is needed for nation building.

“A group of our students have volunteered to provide buddy support to help their blind college mates adapt to the campus environment,” she said.

As to his taking up the business IT course, Blaise Yong said: “Nowadays doing business is no longer restricted within a country or region but it’s globalized. Internet business is just a mouse click away.”

“The online business environment fascinates me and has fortified my interest in computer technology.”

Visual handicap did not deter the SPM 3As scorer from involving in extramural activities while studying at SM Pendidikan Khas Setapak in Kuala Lumpur during which he was computer club vice-president, scout secretary and played goal ball. He also attended an outdoor adventure course at Outward Bound Sabah.

Born fully blind, Krshmann intends to carve a niche in IT to “help my own vision impaired community and hopefully, the society at large as well”.

“I’m very keen in computing and have learnt a lot about it from friends.  While in secondary school, I joined the ICT Club and taught other blind students computer skills using screen reader software,” said Krshmann, who was also active in the scout movement and goal ball.

Toh Chin Yuan, who has low vision and 3As in the SPM, said: “My dream is to be a successful programmer particularly in management information system.”

“I’ve a strong affinity for computer and love to navigate new software,” said Toh, who was a scout secretary and took part in Johor state-level tenpin bowling while studying at Sekolah Tinggi Muar.

Lee Yong Ping, who went blind 2½ years ago due to an ailment, said: “Studying at the college is certainly challenging but I’m happy and determined to make the best use of the opportunity.”

“I hope to be an IT trainer and programmer and contribute my bit to society and the blind community,” he added.

For further information on DISTED and its courses, call 604-2296579 or check out

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