The story by Sibongile Mazibuko: a learner with visual impairment
My name is Sibongile, a person living with visual impairment. I am a confident and loving person. I was born with visual impairment, the condition became worse as I grow. Currently I am studying towards the Business Practice Qualification at the BraamPark academy, in Braamfontein Johannesburg.
I have a severe visual impairment from childhood which caused me to use assistant devices to live a normal life. The use of the device helped me to function as normal and get involved in any activities that a non-disable person will do.
I had to learn and develop different skills such a mobility, which helps me with getting around places e.g. shopping centre, my house, the academy and learning the routes to and from different venues. The other skill that I had to learn is the use of money sticks, the devise helps me to differentiate kinds of moneys that is notes and coins. I have installed a “Jaws” software on my computer and my watch. The use of a walking sticks helps me to feel my way around. I believe I would have not have grown in confidence to achieve what I have accomplished; if it is was not of the support of family, trainer and community.
Although these devices are available, however they are not affordable and not easily accessible. My plea and wish to our government is to help to subsidize these devices so they could be easily accessible and affordable to all who might needs them. A person with visual impairment or blindness tends to depend on other senses: that is one’s hearing, smell and touch/feel sense. By developing these senses it helps one to move around know what is happening around, above and below them.
I have learned to depend a lot on my hearing sense, this helps me to learn things, and remember things. It is important for me to advocate for people with disability. The campaign is to empower people to look beyond the disability when working or communicating with persons with disabilities.
The objective of my story is to inspire people and to educate people on disability, in my case visual impairment or Blindness. I hope to bring light and awareness to the community, that a blind or visually impaired person can live a normal life if they are supported and are surrounded by people who care for them.
I Can! Learner (Braampark academy)