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Colin obtained success despite blindness challenges

From an early age, Colin Ng Soon Beng had shown an interest and talent in music.

His mother, Mdm Janet Ooi Tong Chin, after a few years of searching, finally managed to get him a music teacher. Janet wanted to prove to those who had challenged her that it was impossible for a blind to study music and no future for the blind in this line in Malaysia.

Colin’s parents were the rocks, supporting him all the way from his childhood. Thanks to them, Colin could complete his studies and obtained a degree in music from a college in Malaysia in 2006.

Janet had used Index Basic-D to help Colin during his academic age. With an Index Basic-D, she was able to prepare the materials Colin needed in braille.

According to Janet, she depended heavily on Index Basic-D to help emboss all the necessary braille text so Colin could follow the lectures. Before an exam started, she carried the braille printer to the examiner’s office. There she sat in his office and transcribed all the exam questions into braille which were then embossed with the portable Index Basic-D.

Colin then sat for the exam. He read the questions in braille and answered them in print so that his lecturers could mark the answers. By doing this, there was no doubt that no questions were leaked. No sighted students were able to say that the lecturers gave ‘sympathy marks’ to Colin because of his lack of sight. Colin graduated on the same merits as all the able-bodied students.

Janet mentioned that Colin benefited a lot from the usage of Index Basic-D. He was and still is the only braille dependent who graduated locally in a mainstream college cum university. Index Basic-D was the best solution in helping Janet provide all text materials that were needed to finish his diploma followed by degree in music. Colin is the only person who studied and obtained his success without leaving Malaysia.

In her book ‘Harvest of Love’, Janet shared her experience and tips to others on how to cope with the challenges of blindness in a family.