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Voice of a Filipino, Blind College Student

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Voice of a Filipino, Blind College Student

Abstract

Like many visually impaired individuals in other countries, blind persons here in the Philippines are not denied with the opportunity to pursue higher education. However, there are several things that university administrators, faculty members, and staff are not aware of with regards to how to deal with the situation.

This paper aims to give information on how to handle a blind student. Being a blind person myself, I want to tell people that a college student with visual impairment is not very much different with their sighted counterparts. In behalf of the others, I want to let them know that we're just like any ordinary person and we don't really need special treatment or exemption to requirements.

Top Issues That Need Orientation

Admission

Although many colleges and universities here in the Philippines had and still continue to open their doors for blind students' college education, it is still clearly evident that a lot of administrators from those educational institutions tend to reject a visually impaired aspirant who wants to enroll at their school. Their usual excuse is that they do not know how to deal with a blind pupil like me. They also think that persons with vision impairment are incompetent, thus, discouraging us to engage into the course that we really want to pursue, with a doubt that we really can do well with it. They also say that they have no facilities for us to use. And so, they immediately conclude that they are not yet ready to accept a blind student.

To address this issue, I would like to explain to them myself, with the help of some blindness organizations, that though a blind student really need special facilities as they call it (screen readers, note takers, and an embosser, to name a few), it is not really necessary for them to provide such things to us, if they don't want to, or they are not capable of doing so. Since we are the ones who will be studying, it is one of our responsibilities to provide ourselves with equipments that we need. And if we can't afford to do as such, we may ask the help of some blindness organizations like RBI (resources for the blind Inc.) or other agencies.

With regards to their dilemma on how to properly handle us, I want them to know that a blind student is not tough to deal with, and it won't be a burden for them to have one on their classes. They needn't bother to change the way they manage the whole class just for us to be able to follow. All we ask of them is to read anything that they write on the board for us to be able to take down notes. It would be a great help especially to those instructors that teach mathematics, or other subjects that is difficult to visualize, and therefore, needs a few descriptions. We do not have to arrange a special schedule with them, to think that they'll just have to repeat all they've taught the class, thus giving them additional responsibilities. All they have to do is tell us, like they're also telling the whole class, what they're writing on the board. For example, instead of saying "To solve for X, you have to add this number to that, and

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