Blind School Field Trip

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Date Submitted: 09/11/2016 11:50 AM

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The Blind School Field Trip

On Monday the 29th of June at 8:30 in the morning, the class of Year 9 were ready to leave to the only school for the blind in the region. It did not matter to them that they had to wait fifteen more minutes for the late bus to arrive – this was community service.

At last at 9:15 the bus reached the blind school. The students were led inside by Ms D, Mrs L and Ms C and were confronted by the principal of the school, Mr W. He explained how the school was set out and showed them around the school, which incidentally covers half an acre of land and is funded by the government.

First he showed them the computer lab, which had two computers with Braille stickers on the keys, linked to a Braille printing machine that punched dents in the paper in order to make the letters. To demonstrate, the names of every student and teacher in the room was typed, along with a famous quote from Charles Dickens, then translated by a special program into braille. The students watched in amazement as the printer punched out ten copies back to back on five pieces of paper.

They were also shown the library, which only had a few books in Braille but a machine for partially blind people that let them read book in high magnification. (According to Mr W, that magnifier cost RM21,000, all of which was paid for by the government.) Then there was the music room, then the classrooms where the children had their lessons mainly by using Braille typewriters to write their work. We were told that many of the students here are only partially blind and some aren't blind at all, but have come along to keep their sibling company. All the thirty students there sleep in dormitories and have their own kitchen.

After we had been shown around, the students from both schools split into two groups, one that made models of toys - borrowed from kindergarten – out of clay, the other that made shell models by pouring plaster over indented clay in a box. When that was...