health

March 9, 2022

LINEO MABEKEBEKE

2 min read

Visual disabilities cause impairment

Visual disabilities cause impairment

The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture, Ntlhoi Motsamai

Story highlights

  • Vodacom library breaks barriers
  • Visually impaired people lead normal lives with their own style of doing things

Metro Radio Podcast

Catch our weekly audio broadcast every Friday only on Metro Radio Podcast News.

listen now

NEARLY everyone faces hardships at one point or another in their lives, but for people with disabilities, barriers can be more frequent with greater impact, like lack of relevant technology, adaptive and rehabilitation devices.

Lisebo Balopedi, Office Director of the Lesotho National League of Visually Impaired Persons (LNLVIP), an advocacy organisation of the blind and partially sighted people in Lesotho, says often there are multiple barriers that make it extremely difficult or even impossible for people with disabilities to function.

Balopedi said learners with visual impairment were various groups with varied nature of difficulties that required satisfactory attention in curriculum implementation in order to achieve good academic performance when placed in regular or mainstream institutions. 

“Visually impaired people have a tough time finding good reading materials in accessing formats,” Ms Balopedi said.

She noted that for many years - what they had known as resources for the visually impaired, had been limited to perform basic functions of life such as walking, cooking, washing and so on.

“Most of the members of the non-blind community believe that the blind people cannot do their work or live a normal life,” she said.

“Visually impaired persons do lead a normal life with their own style of doing things, but they definitely face troubles due to inaccessible infrastructure and social challenges.”

Vodacom Lesotho has since launched Vodacom Foundation Insight Centre, a library for the blind and visually impaired persons, situated at the State Library in Maseru, to enable equal access and inclusion by providing visually impaired persons with specialised services such as books and other learning materials.

Enjoy our daily newsletter from today

Access exclusive newsletters, along with previews of new media releases.

“Everybody should read different information sources to acquire knowledge and it means the struggle to read on our own is over now that the Vodacom Centre is here,” Ms Balopedi also said.

The centre has a braille printer, eye-pal solo scanner, victor reader and 10 computers with software Supernova to help navigate the computer amongst other things.

The government of Lesotho as part of the United Nations (UN) family has domesticated the UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities in order to preserve and uphold the fundamental freedoms of the people with disabilities by enacting the Disability Equity Bill, which is now an act of the Parliament. 

The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture, Ntlhoi Motsamai said the act recognised the fact that people with disability are entitled to a barrier free and disability friendly environment, which enable them to realise their full potential on an equal basis with others.

Share the story

METRO WEATHER FORECAST