LEARNING ABOUT VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS AND BRAILLE INSTRUMENTS
AHDMTL is an association founded by disabled people themselves. It aims to bring people with visual impairments and to support the rights of people with visual impairments. They work to advocate for governments, institutions and communities related to people with disabilities, especially visual impairments.
ICFP also provides an opportunity for AHDMTL through teaching children with special needs unit (EDTS 200), to advocate and share teaching experiences which can facilitate future teachers before they take part in future inclusive schools.
Activities carried out such as:
1. Share information related to the concept of disability in general and specifically regarding visual impairments
2. Dialogue with students regarding the topic
3. Explain braille instruments and their functions
4. Teaching simulations using braille instruments to learn literacy and numeracy
5. Students presentations using braille instruments to produce alphabet
The teacher needs knowledge or information about the understanding of deficiency related to the types of disabilities, especially visual impairments, their limitation, needs, their obstacles and rights, so that the teacher can know them well and can be a part of their world. Teacher can use appropriate word for disabled people so that, will not create a negative stigma on disabled people and visual impairments in schools and communities. Apart from that, it can protect the rights of disabled people among society. Teachers also should know the needs of children with disabilities so that teachers do not discriminate against students in inclusive classrooms in the future.
In Timor-Leste, the percentage of disabilities is increasing, especially visual impairments. Some of them have not accessed education due to lack of opportunities. But there are those who have had opportunities in the area of education. Based on the facts, disabled people are also productive and creative people. Therefore, here needs to be opportunities so that they can develop themselves and show their productivity.
The Braille instrument is a very important instrument for facilitating people with visual impairments to learn literacy and numeracy so teachers need to know how it works before using it.
Therefore, in practice activities using braille instruments can help students as teacher candidates to gain experience and can be implement in inclusive classes in the future.