No Longer Left Out

Fiji School of the Blind stu­dent uses Braille to read Con­sti­tu­tion Day mes­sage

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - ARI­ETA VAKASUKAWAQA

Naomi Le­wakita says she feels in­cluded by the 2013 Con­sti­tu­tion.

The Fiji School of the Blind stu­dent was ex­cited and emo­tional after she read a mes­sage at the first Con­sti­tu­tion Day cel­e­bra­tions at Al­bert Park Pavil­ion and Grounds yes­ter­day. The high­light of the cel­e­bra­tions was when she and other stu­dents read pas­sages from the pre­am­ble of the 2013 Con­sti­tu­tion. “I was so emo­tional when I read out the pre­am­ble of the Con­sti­tu­tion in Braille be­cause this is the first time that chil­dren like us are given the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in one of Fiji’s his­toric events,” she said. “I feel so im­por­tant and proud of my­self that de­spite be­ing blind, I man­age to stand be­fore peo­ple and read that part of the Con­sti­tu­tion,” she said. The Year 11 stu­dent thanked the Gov­ern­ment for in­tro­duc­ing the Braille ver­sion of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

New era

“I feel part of the so­ci­ety now. Be­fore, I felt that we were dis­crim­i­nated and to­day marked a new era for peo­ple liv­ing with dis­abil­i­ties.

“I be­lieve that peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties have what it takes to change the so­ci­ety and to­day is the tes­ti­mony of that. “To­day will go down in his­tory as I am the first vis­ually im­paired stu­dent to read the pre­am­ble of Fiji’s Con­sti­tu­tion in the first ever Con­sti­tu­tion Day,” she said.

She brought to life the real mean­ing of the text she read:

“A per­son with any dis­abil­ity has the right…

to rea­son­able ac­cess to all places, pub­lic trans­port and in­for­ma­tion;

to use sign lan­guage, Braille or

Photo: DEPTFO News

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