With the existing assistive technology and the power of Internet, Learning Includes, an accessible virtual/ mobile tuition platform for the visually impaired (VI) / blind and other disabled students was launched in 2017 by us, DIA Academy Sdn Bhd (formerly known as DID MY Academy Sdn Bhd( and SOS Missions, in collaboration with Sasbadi Online and MindTech Education, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysian leading public listed education publisher, Sasbadi Holdings Bhd. With the support from AAEON Specs International Foundation, MAGIC Penjana and GlobalGiving , the project has expanded to aid an additional 60 special education students between 10 to 18.
Unequal access to education is a prevailing problem faced by the visually impaired / blind and other PWD students globally, including our students in Malaysia. These students are often left behind in their studies, hindering them to progress in education that plays a significant role in securing better job opportunity.
This is mainly due to the limitation of braille books, (i.e. not updated timely, low portability, expensive to produce) that is used as the primary education resource in the current education landscape (Zheng 2014). The VI / Blind students were also less motivated to perform better in their study, besides receiving less interaction, encouragement and involvement from the parents as more than half of them are staying in the school hostel.
On the other hand, the often neglected VI / blind and other disabled graduates in Malaysia are facing challenges to secure dignified jobs even with suitable qualifications (Sinar Harian Online 2017, Astro Awani 2018).
Marginalised by discrimination and misunderstanding in the society, majority of them are left with no choice but to work as masseuses, telemarketers and other jobs despite having the ability and potential to perform in other works. Not to mention that the charity paradigm and mindset that is custom to the south-east Asian community, which include Malaysia, further widen the gap of disabled community from the others, as they are given opportunities on the basis of sympathy and not based on their potential (World Economic Forum 2017). As a result, this community is trapped in a cycle of poverty.3+
Coming to the fifth year of the project, we have expanded to another 40 VI / blind and another 20 Autistic and mentally challenge studens as we strive towards bringing them one step closer towards equal education by providing them with the most accessible and blind-friendly virtual learning platform in the market to date. This platform offers the students educational resources i.e. notes, trilingual dictionaries, practices, video lessons and sample exam paper that is hard; if not totally unavailable to them prior to this project’s intervention. It has assisted the teacher from the special / mixed school in lesson planning thus helps in reducing their workload. In 2021 we also partnered with a Social Organisation from Pakistan, Wonder Tree Learning Group, to offer online Augmented Reality learning games to help the mentally challenges youths and children improve their learning capacities. For this learning project we are collaborating with a local private learning center, Breakthrough Learning Centre and to provide this learning tool to help this mentally impaired students.In the long term we pray and ope that our Online learning platform will be a resourceful platform for all students irregardless of their impaired and medical conditions.
The project has also provided meaningful and dignified job opportunities to 3 VI / blind graduates as virtual tuition coach that were previously deprived off them. The VI / blind graduates were trained, empowered and equipped with computer skills, coaching skills, soft skills e.g. communication skills, as well as serving as role models to inspire and motivate VI / blind students to never give up and also aiding them to improve in their studies.
Through our finding, the Social Return on Investment ratio for the current project is 1.10:1 (rounded off from 1.:1) which indicates that there is RM 1.10 worth social value received by our beneficiaries (the students and blind coaches) for every RM 1 invested.
Through this project, we aim to meet four of the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals which are (1) Quality Education, (2) Decent Work and Economic Growth, (3) Reducing Inequalities and (4) Partnerships for the Goals.
The special school for disabled students has just reopened in March 2022. The online tuition aid for the 100 blind students has just recommenced in April 2022. However since recommencing we have been facing much challenges from their school classes due to the teachers spending more times in conducting extra classes for these students to catch up on their studies. Due to this extra hours, many of our blind students could not attend online tuition classes. In the up coming school holiday in June 2022, we will attempt to engage the school teachers and the parents to work out the schedule of the blind students online tuition classes.
The new school term began a few weeks ago on Jan 3 2022 after many periods of lockdowns and a massive flood in December 2021 that has forced the close down of many public schools including the special schools. However despite these challenges we are thankful for the many public donors and some organisations financial help to continue enabling us to support 50 Blind students online tuition for the 2022 school term in our nation.
We have also recently received endorsement from our Ministry of Education Special Education Department to adopt more impaired students on our learning platform to include the Deaf, Lame and Learning disabled students as well. Despite the challenges we are still pressing on to secure more financial donations and grants to help us not only to maintain our annual target of 100 impaired students but also to sustain the employment of our 3 impaired tutors. We hope to give a more comprehensive report to our supporters by mid-2022.
We are happy to share with all of you our latest Social Return On Investment (SROI) Report. Here's an excerpt and do read the full report in the link we provided below :
With the existing assistive technology and the power of Internet, Learning Includes, an accessible virtual / mobile tuition platform for the visually impaired (VI) / blind and other disabled students was launched in 2017 by us, DID MY Academy Sdn Bhd and SOS Missions, in collaboration with Sasbadi Online and MindTech Education, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysian leading public listed education publisher, Sasbadi Holdings Bhd. With the support from Yayasan Hasanah, GlobalGiving Donors and Yayasan Yara, the project has expanded to aid more special education students between ages 10 to 18.
Thank you for your kind contribution and support in allowing us to provide education to our visually impaired students here in Malaysia.
It has been close to 4 months since our last report on our Learning Includes Project for the Blind students in our nation. However since March our country has been experiencing rise in Covid 19 cases which resulted in 2 more major lockdowns. Schools has been closed for the past months which has hampered our activities as many of the students stay at the school hostel which has computer labs and Wifi connections. Due to the school closure, many of the students returned home with limited access to computers and Wifi. Prayerfully the situation will get better soon so that the affected students can return to school.
Due to spike in Covid-19 cases our nation has been in conditional lockdown since October 2020 and in December 2020 till March 2021, we had the 2nd lockdown and recently as the cases has been spiralling out of contro our nation will be on full lockdown again on 1 June.
Our nation is now in full lockdown which has interrupted school learning. In our last report we have mentioned that our Project has been hampered by the lack of devices available for this Blind students to learn remotely. As of now we are still affected by this problem and is still seeking for devices donations to help many of this students. To date we can only engage Students who have access to these Smart Devices and also Connectivity.
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