By NurFatihah Irdina
GOMBAK, 15 March 2022 – “It’s a matter of concentration and discipline,” says Nur Amalina binti Kamsani, a 29-year-old double degree graduate, in pursuing her academic studies despite facing difficulties as a disabled.
In pursuing her double-degree in Bachelor of Laws (Shariah) Amalina’s eyesight worsens due to an eye infection that caused a retinal detachment in her right eye.
Amalina walks up to the stage at the 36th Convocation to receive her scroll, with each step she takes, Amalina is accompanied by her friend. To navigate directions, she uses a white cane to scan the surroundings for orientation marks.
”I am proud to show up today given the circumstances. Though, walking up the stage made me flustered but this is not the first time I am doing this.”
Before the infection which damaged both of her eyesight, Amalina mostly depended on her left eye.
“This is my second graduation. During my first graduation, my eyesight was still in good condition. It wasn’t until December 2019 when the condition affected both of my eyes,” Amalina said.
“I could still see back then when I was pursuing my first degree, but everything changed since then,” she added.
Upon continuing her double-degree, Amalina experienced gradual changes in her studies. Adjusting to her new lifestyle took time, as she had to find new ways to cope and adapt.
According to Amalina, accepting changes in her life wasn’t an easy feat as that meant that she had to modify her perspective in life.
“I knew that sooner or later, both of my eyesight would undergo a lot of changes. I had to prepare for the worst in case it would directly impact my studies.”
“Previously, I could read my books without any aid but now I am open to help. My friends assist me by reading the texts aloud, I record them talking and interpret the Arabic texts as I listen to the link recording,” said Amalina.
What the 29-year-old considered her greatest challenge, however, her perseverance was tested when she had to skip classes to attend her typing class at Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB) and did follow-ups at the hospital.
“Despite missing classes and overcoming the little voice inside my head, that keeps on pandering my confidence, my friends are certainly my pillar of strength.”
In the process of accepting the turnover in her studies, Amalina learned that it’s important to ask for help, and disability is not a hindrance to soar higher in education.
“I am grateful that despite my disability, my lecturers never faltered in giving me the same treatment as everyone else.”
Amalina emphasised on the significance of equality amongst the disabled, ensuring the group is not alienated by others.***
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