Our community group “Books for the Blind” recently had the opportunity to visit Nhat Hong Centre for the Blind.
The trip was indeed an experience for all of us. We had the chance to understand how frustrating it would be to lose your capacity to see.
The Nhat Hong Centre provides education for the blind. It first opened in 1995 but moved to its present location in 2007. The school caters for nearly one hundred students, ranging from two to twenty years old, 80 of which board at the school. Most of these students are solely visually impaired, but some have multiple impairments. For some of the students there are lessons at the Nhat Hong Centre in the morning and they are integrated into nearby regular schools in the afternoon.
The classes are separated by age and subject and we were impressed by some of the skills that these students were learning.
The students are taught mainly through auditory communication, with Braille being the fundamental means of written expression. We were astonished by the fact that they were taking notes for class with a Braille writing tool. It looked so complicated. The Braille pen indents dots onto a normal piece of paper that may be reviewed afterwards like any other means of taking notes. The students were very good at it.
In Music class they were learning how to play the piano and they even prepared a special performance for the members of our club. The arts and crafts area offered materials to create various ornaments, paint and even knit small rugs. There was even a physical training class for the students’ personal needs such as utilizing the cane to walk around and ultimately assist them to become independent individuals.
As a result of our visit, our attitude towards disabled people completely shifted. It was amazing to witness how these students have adapted to their special needs and there is a lot to be learned from their perseverance to achieve. Rather than pity their disabilities, we should embrace them for their courage.
Amy Kim / 11V