STUDENTS from Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) organised a vision-impairment awareness campaign titled “Side By Sight” with an emphasis on emphathy, equality and experience.
It was held in collaboration with Dialogue in the Dark Malaysia at the TAR UC Setapak main campus and managed to raise RM12,000 for SOS Missions advocating social inclusion for all disabled groups.
The student-organisers strived to shed light on issues faced by the vision impaired community in Malaysia, such as types of blindness, facilities needed to assist them and their daily struggles, through experiential activities, exhibitions and also personally walking the streets of KL in blindfolds and guiding canes.
Students also choreographed and acted in a two-hour stage performance titled “Last Seen”, on the life and challenges of a vision-impaired teenager affected by glaucoma. It incorporated drama, dances, choir and also emotional performances, which left many of the 600-plus audience in tears.
“I am glad for this opportunity to work with my students, who I hope realise the concerns that the vision-impaired have, and raise the public’s awareness through this campaign, ” said campaign ambassador and vision-impaired lecturer Chia Yok Ching.
Dialogue in the Dark Malaysia brought in their exclusive experiential tour to the “Side By Sight” campaign to allow students, staff and visitors to experience the ways in which vision-impaired people manoeuvre through their daily lives.
“We hope to raise awareness among the public to realise that the vision impaired community needs empathy rather than sympathy, ” said Dialogue in the Dark Malaysia founder Stevens Chan.
Also at the opening ceremony were TAR UC president Prof Dr Lee Sze Wei, ‘Side By Sight’ campaign assistant director Chan Huey Wen, campaign ambassador Chia Yok Ching, campaign director Sam Poh Peik En, Dialogue in the Dark Malaysia representative Lynn Foo and Faculty of Communication and Creative Industries associate dean Shubashini Anamalai.