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Blind lecturer exceeds expectations yet again by mastering online teaching

THROUGHOUT his life, Thavasothy S. Mailvaganam Pillai, who was born blind, has not only been meeting expectations but exceeding them.

The lecturer at a private college had to adapt to online teaching and learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic and movement control order. 

“I had to learn how to use an online teaching and learning platform fast during the first MCO last year.

“I have two adult children, who are doctors, who helped me, ” said Thavasothy who has a BA from Universiti Malaya and MEd from Australia. 

The 69-year-old, who retired as a history teacher from SMK (P) Taman Petaling, said his late father, who was an engineer with Keretapi Tanah Melayu, was his biggest supporter.

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Meet The Blind Muslim Couple Behind America’s Braille Qurans

At a cursory glance, co-founders and husband and wife duo, Nadir and Yadira Thabatah, are an unusual pairing by most standards. Their dynamic defies societal expectations, considering Yadira is entirely blind and Nadir is legally blind.

They have often been told how inspirational they are as parents, members of society and founders of a nonprofit, all of which they’ve remarkably managed ‘despite being blind.’

Given their successful endeavours, admiration is certainly warranted. However, the compliments prefaced by “despite your disability” can be highly vexing. On a surface level, it’s seemingly innocent, and yet it can be offensive considering the buried assumption that disabled individuals are generally not expected to curate accomplishments. It’s that subliminal perception, mostly possessed inadvertently by society, that Nadir and Yadira are working to get rid of.  

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Braille book of daily du'as in Arabic with English translation

Some blind people have asked us at AlFitrah Foundation Braille Quran Initiative for a Braille book of daily du'as in Arabic with English translation. Making du'a is an important part of a Muslim's life . Inshaa Allah I can continue with Abdul Majid online after this and we can finish this within a month.

This morning he updated me on the progress of a visually impaired lady in New York who learnt to read Arabic Braille with the Quraanic primer we posted to her. She is now learning to read Juz 30 of the Quran with him on WhatsApp which she records to revise. Alhamdulillah. Please make dua for all of us !

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Grocery Voucher Program

These are difficult times and for refugee families who don't have a safety net of social security benefits or access to free health and education, they are hit harder. AlFitrah foundation has started a grocery voucher program that enables 50 refugee families in the most dire circumstances to purchase the groceries they need . An analysis of the receipts show the different requirements of each family: a young Somalian mother uses her vouchers to buy babymilk and rusks, a Yemeni single mum buys adult diapers for her aged mother and chickens for her family's dinner, a Palestinian father buys oranges, pears and apples for his children.

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World Braille Day

Today is World Braille Day where we celebrate awareness of the importance of braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and visually impaired people.

At AlFitrah Foundation Braille Quran Initiative we gave Braille books and pocket Braille sets today to Tina and Tika two visually impaired girls who work next to our office, and Abian and his wife Rashidah, and Ismail who is planning to go for his umrah and wanted the guide to Haj and Umrah in Braille.

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