The dis abled

New Straits Times - - Higher Ed - Fritz En­jhay CEpE

first en­tered M M U in Cy­ber­jaya. “It was be­yond my ex­pec­ta­tions. The learn­ing process in many uni­ver­si­ties is via pen and pa­per.

“In ad­di­tion to this tra­di­tional ap­proach, M M U uses the se­cured mul­ti­me­dia learn­ing sys­tem to con­duct on­line lessons, pro­mote paper­less prac­tices, hold in­ter­ac­tive dis­cus­sions in­clud­ing peer tu­tor­ing, ex­pos­i­tory field­work and in­dus­trial train­ing to make learn­ing eas­ier, es­pe­cially for stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties,” said Cepe.

Be­liev­ing that a dis­abil­ity is not an in­abil­ity, his mo­bil­ity dif­fi­cul­ties never hin­dered him from the pro­gramme at M M U.

The wheel­chair-bound stu­dent gained ex­po­sure to dif­fer­ent learn­ing styles by lev­er­ag­ing on new tech­nolo­gies and mod­ern fa­cil­i­ties in the univer­sity. “M as­ter­ing this new knowl­edge has shaped my per­spec­tive very well and I need to im­part it to other stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties, es­pe­cially in my coun­try,” he said.

His class­mate, Vic­to­ria Sak­i­layan, 34, who is deaf, said the in­no­va­tive tech­nolo­gies helped her to be­come fa­mil­iar with the struc­tures, func­tions and dy­nam­ics of a va­ri­ety of elearn­ing sys­tems.

“W e learn in a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment with suf­fi­cient ac­cess to more open dis­cus­sions, there­fore, we’re more com­fort­able in ex­press­ing our in­sights. Some­times a stu­dent with a dis­abil­ity can do more ex­tra­or­di­nary things than those with all their fac­ul­ties,” she added.

Sak­i­layan was a former fac­ulty mem­ber of the School of Deaf Ed­u­ca­tion and Ap­plied Stud­ies, De La Salle - Col­lege of Saint Be­nilde in the Philip­pines be­fore en­rolling in the M aster of M ul­ti­me­dia pro­gramme at M M U.

AUN-DPPnet, which is based in Kuala Lumpur, re­ceived RM 4.8 mil­lion from the Nip­pon Foun­da­tion of Ja­pan to fund learn­ing in­clud­ing post­grad­u­ate schol­ar­ships to the dis­abled com­mu­nity from Asean mem­ber coun­tries.

M M U pres­i­dent Pro­fes­sor Datuk Dr Ah­mad Rafi M ohamed Eshaq said the univer­sity is the only pri­vate univer­sity in M alaysia se­lected to col­lab­o­rate with the AUN-DPPnet Sec­re­tar­iat.

The part­ner­ship of­fers schol­ar­ships to cover tu­ition fees, monthly stipends, air flights and book al­lowances ex­clu­sively for stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties.

Cur­rently, there are three schol­ar­ship hold­ers who are pur­su­ing post­grad­u­ate stud­ies at M M U, and the ap­pli­ca­tion is still open for el­i­gi­ble stu­dents to en­rol in the M aster of M ul­ti­me­dia (e-Learn­ing Tech­nolo­gies)course at the univer­sity.

Another deaf stu­dent who is en­rolled in the mas­ter’s pro­gramme is Ray­mond M and­ing, 29.

M and­ing, who is pres­i­dent of the Philip­pine Fed­er­a­tion of the Deaf Youth Sec­tion, Inc. said e-learn­ing is rel­a­tively new to the dis­abled com­mu­nity and paves the way for op­por­tu­ni­ties, to en­hance knowl­edge among those with spe­cial needs. “By ex­plor­ing mul­ti­me­dia, I hope that I will be able to con­trib­ute to the deaf and hard-of-hear­ing com­mu­nity in ar­eas such as com­mu­ni­ca­tions, new me­dia, web­sites, tele­vi­sion and in­for­ma­tion.”

In ad­di­tio n to th etr adi­tio nal appr o ach ,M M U uses th es­e­cur ed m ul­tim edia lear ning sys­tem to co nducto nline lesso ns,pr o m o te p ap er les s p r ac­tices and h o ld in­ter ac­tive dis­cus­sio ns.

MMU stu dent

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