By Funmilola Afolabi
A visually impaired tutor, Mr Nasirudeen Oladele says the education of persons with disabilities needs a lot of advocacy.
Mr Oladele is a tutor with Daystar Low Vision Foundation, which aims to give hope to persons with disabilities. The foundation which started operations in September 2022 was established to rehabilitate visually impaired persons so that they can be helpful in society.
Image of Nasirudeen Oladele
Mr Oladele said he decided to be a tutor because most persons with disabilities have been left on their own without help or means of livelihood.
He said, “We teach our students how to read and write; we also have a computer used to teach our students to be ICT compliant. Being a visually impaired person does not mean you should not have access to the internet. We also train a lot of people on how to use their cell phones. Because a lot of people are wowed that someone blind can operate a phone. We train them to be up to date with their phones.”
According to him, he strives to ensure that those who are visually impaired have a sense of independence.
“Without education, proper knowledge and rehabilitation, our people will be idle, which is why I deemed it fit to be a tutor here. I am glad about the commendation made by the students so far because this means that our efforts are yielding results when they are getting what we are teaching them.” he added.
How he teaches the students
The virtually impaired tutor, Mr Oladele teaches his students braille first. This is a system of raised dots that can be read with the fingers by people who are blind or who have low vision. And once the students are conversant with it, he proceeds to teach them the keyboard layout.
According to him, The keys on a computer keyboard are arranged in a specific way called the “QWERTY” layout, and once they get a hang of it, they are able to use the typewriter and computer system well.
He added that he also teaches his students how to use their phones as a virtually impaired person. “There are various applications that can be downloaded on phones and it makes browsing, calling, and chatting very easy for my students. Most of the students had been taught that a visually impaired person can’t do anything and that’s not true. We can do most things that an able-bodied person can do, we need a little guidance, and that is why I want to change the narrative.” he said.
The students come for their lessons from Tuesdays to Thursdays from 9 am to 2 pm.
Image of some of the equipment used for learning
The tutor called on members of the public to key into projects like this, as this would give hope to persons who are physically challenged. He opined that educating those physically challenged reduces the burden their condition might have on their families and caregivers.
Image of the students in class
One of his students, Temitope Mustaphar said she is learning to read and write in braille adding that the training has helped her to adapt to her new way of life.
‘I am learning how to read and write, to use the typewriter and use an android phone. I am also doing vocational skills like making liquid soap. They are really helping me and I am improving well,’ she said.
She added that the tutor has been patient with her because he understands her needs and this has hastened her learning process.
Image of student- Temitope Mustapha
Another student, Mr Ola Ajayi said the training has given him a new lease of life after being idle for 2 years. He opined that he can use his phone well without help from anyone and just focuses on the voice that provides guidance on his phone.
According to him, ‘I was home close to 2 years until I heard of the training. So far, I have learned a lot, it has brightened my life and everything about me and has changed my life. Initially, when I was at home, if I had any calls I wouldn’t know until my mother or children came back home. But now, with my Android phone, I can receive calls and reply to messages. It has kept me away from boredom.’
He said the tutor has adequately equipped him with the knowledge to do things independently adding that he cooks and helps out at home.
Another student, Mr Oluwaseun said the tutor is teaching him how to be computer literate and he says this makes him access the internet. He hopes that in the future he will be able to stand with able-bodied persons and do the same things that they can do without relying on anybody.
They called on concerned authorities to invest more in educating persons with disabilities, and not just giving them stipends to live on.
This story was produced as a requirement for the Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals (AFYMP) Disability Fellowship.