Student makes light work of disability
does not offer a blind candidates.
It took Zheng three years of intensive study to score sufficient points in the IELTS, the language-fluency test essential for university admission in Britain. Taking the version of the test for blind candidates requires 10 hours.
Desmond Thomas, TESOL course leader at theUniversity of Essex, offered Zheng a place in the course despite his limited teaching experience.
“Here was a personwhowas determined to break out of the confines of his disability, travel to another country and study alongside experienced teachers who were also native speakers of English,” Thomas told China Daily.
Zheng was the first blind Chinese student to study at the university and the only one with a disability in his class of 13 students. His classmates came from China, Britain, Jordan and Kazakhstan.
Living and studying abroad, Zheng faced many hurdles.
It took him a month to memorize the 1.6-km route from his apartment to the university and at least two hours to prepare a simple meal.
Even with help from an academic assistant offered by the university, it took him hours to scan reading material into his computer so that he could use a screen reader, a software application to assist the visually impaired.
Zheng does not plan to rest on his laurels.
“I want to get a PhD and work for education for the disabled,” he said. “Only through education can we gain more freedom.”