Saturday, December 14

Visually-impaired Norain achieves diploma dream

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KUCHING: Visual impairment did not deter Norain Fatihah Mohammad Yusof from succeeding in university.

Foster mum Kasimah (left) and Norain are proud of her diploma.

The Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours (Social Work Studies) graduate said she was ready for the challenge when told Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) never had a visually impaired student before.

“When I called Unimas and they told me that, I was filled with a desire to be the first one the university would accept,” the youngest of 11 siblings told reporters when met after receiving her diploma at Unimas’ 18th Convocation yesterday.

Norain, who suffers from Partial Retinal Detachment Stage 4, was grateful to her classmates, lecturers and Unimas staff for working hard to create a conducive environment for her.

“Sometimes the lecturers would call me to personally check up on me, or I would sit in their rooms to do my studies, as they understood my disability which made them realise that a different approach was needed for my studies.

“I also found that the facilities in Unimas were sufficient for me to go around independently, and honestly my recipe for success would be constantly asking my friends and lecturers questions as well as studying
diligently,” she said, adding that she had the help of Unimas assistant registrar Kamisah Ete whom she regards as a foster mother.

Kamisah recounted the first time Norain came to Unimas with the encouragement of her mother, siblings and (late) father.

“I interviewed her and saw how she read and studied well using learning tools. Confident that she would succeed, I took her in as my foster child whom I would monitor from time to time.

“I would fetch her back and forth between my home in Kampung Semariang Jaya Phase 2 and Unimas, and allow her to concentrate on her studies at home,” she said.

Photos by Chimon Upon.