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Visually Impaired Support Unit



 Our Mission


We believe that visual impairment is not a hindrance but a challenge. With training, support and guidance, visually impaired (VI) students can achieve academic success and develop strength of character to meet life’s challenges.



About Us



We believe that visual impairment is not a hindrance but a challenge. With training, support and guidance, visually impaired (VI) students can achieve academic success and develop strength of character to meet life’s challenges.

The Integration Programme for the Visually impaired (IPVI) is a measure to provide secondary education for VI students in a mainstream school. Implemented in Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary school (AISS) in 1967, the school continues to be committed to the education of VI students today.

AISS adopts a fully concerted approach to provide the opportunities, facilities and support to ensure VI students receive a holistic education that enables them to achieve academic success and develop strength of character.





Programme Perview


AIM

The IPVI aims to:

  • provide secondary education to VI students through integration in a mainstream school.

  • enable VI students to study alongside sighted peers to promote mutual respect and appreciation.

  • provide support and facilities to enable VI students to complete secondary education.

  • impart skills and knowledge to VI students to prepare them for future pursuits.


APPROACHES

The school adopts the following approaches:

        i.    Integration: VI students study together with sighted peers.

          • Students are placed in appropriate streams based on their PSLE score.

  • Students will attend mainstream classes for all subjects, except art, Food and Consumer Education, Design and Technology and P.E. Non-Malay students are exempted from taking Mother Tongue.

        ii.    Inclusion: Activities are planned to ensure that VI students are included to promote mutual respect and appreciation.

  • Students will participate in CCA, Community Involvement Projects, Sports Carnival, Outdoor Learning Experience and other school activities and functions.

  • All Sec 1 students will embark on a learning journey to Dialogue in the Dark to understand the plight of visual impairment and to foster empathy for their VI peers.

        iii.    Accommodation: Special arrangements are made to ensure that VI students are able to meet course criteria through

  • offering alternative subject, e.g. Music, Elements of Business Skills

  • Modification of course content


SUPPORT

Students receive individual guidance and assistance from

  • Resource teachers who facilitate their learning through provision of lesson materials in Braille, subject coaching, instruction in special skills and counselling.

  • Subject teachers who conduct extra lessons in addition to individual attention in class.

  • Teachers and School Counsellors who provide emotional support.

  • Buddies who assist VI students in moving around school compound and following lessons in class.

  • Exam Committee who plans for special arrangements and extended time for exams


ENRICHMENT MODULES

Training modules are conducted to enhance students’ learning, physical well-being and character development. These include:

  • Daily Living Skills module

  •  IT training

  • Skills workshops, e.g. First aid

  • P.E. and sound ball


FACILITIES

Special facilities are put in place to support VI students and their learning.

  • Resource Room

    • to which VI students proceed to receive support and assistance from Resource teachers.
    • Which is furnished with amenities for life skill training
    • provides students with a conducive place for learning.

  • Assistive technology devices which include

    • Electronic talking/magnification software devices, Braille machines, computers, etc.

  • Braille materials

    • Textbooks, lesson materials, etc.


COLLABORATION

The school leaders and staff work closely with the following to support VI students

  • MOE – Special Education Branch, Singapore Examination and Assessment Board, Psychological Services Branch

  • Parents/Guardians

  • Singapore Association for the Visually Handicapped and other VWOs

  • Study groups from learning institutions

  • Media


Model of Success



Highlights: 1967 to Present

The record of the highlights and achievements for 1967 to present is a testament to AISS as a model of success for the education of VI students. The VI Support Unit will continue to assist VI students to grow and maximise their potential.




AISS has been noted for its commitment to education for the visually impaired (VI). It is through the support of MOE and the cooperation and commitment of Principals, staff and students of AISS that the IPVI is successfully integrated VI students into the school and preparing them for the future.

The school has been a model of success in education for the VI since the inception of the IPVI in 1967.

In 1981, a professor from Germany, who promoted Integration Education for the Disabled, visited the school and shared ideas with the Resource teachers, who also attended a lecture given by him at the Goethe Institute.

In 1983, two officers from the Brunei Department of Education, on a study tour on Special Education, studied our programme with the intention of implementing a similar programme in Brunei.

In 1987, AISS received the Guinness Stout Award for its contribution to the education of the VI. Guinness Stout Company presents an annual award to individuals or institutions which make significant contribution to society or the nation. The school was presented with our first talking computer, Cubic99, a copy of the Guinness Book of Records and a plaque of recognition.

In May 1997, the principal and 3 teachers from the Beijing School for the VI visited AISS and shared ideas with Mr Ng Chew Kee Senior HOD), Mr Liow (HOD-Mother Tongue) and Miss Deborah Ng. Four VI students from Singapore, two of whom were Khoo Teck Chuan and Penny Chong (former students of AISS) spent two months in 1997 in Beijing studying the Chinese Braille code.

Ms Deborah Ng and Mdm Betty Frois attended a conference organised by Teach Me Services on “Integration as a Lifestyle for the Disabled” on 23 June 2001 at Grand Hyatt Hotel.

In February 2003Mr David Spyby (Head of Mathematics department of Royal National Institute for the Blind New College at Worcester, England) who is engaged by GCE N/O Level examination authorities to modify the Mathematics examination papers for VI students from Singapore and other parts of the world, together with Dr Wong Meng Ee (a VI Singaporean who studied in Worcester College and a graduate of a University in Scotland) visited the school to observe our teaching programme for the VI and shared knowledge and experiences, in particular, in relation to examination requirements.

The World Blind Union Regional Conference (Pacific & Asia) cum Seminar on Barrier-Free Accessibility for the Visually Impaired was held in Singapore, 15-20 November 2003. Resource teachers, Betty Frois and Deborah Ng, sponsored by the school Staff Development Fund, attended the above conference cum seminar held at Swisshotel Merchant Court. Delegates from Japan, Australia and New Zealand delivered papers on Barrier-free Accessibility to information and the environment. Topics covered various information systems and library resources and the use of tactile and sound/speech signals and guide dogs. There was also an exhibition of various assistive devices, such as Braille embossers, text-scanning/reading machines, Braille and graphics displays, speech software, an accessory to the Braille Note which can be used as a navigation device via GPS, and another device that enables a VI person to access the Internet via a mobile phone. The Resource teachers gained valuable knowledge from the conference cum seminar.

AI received a distinguished guest from The Netherlands (Dr. Suzan IjZer, ophthalmologist working on a project called REACH) on 23 Jan 2007.




Programmes and Events



Highlights: 1967 to Present

The record of the highlights and achievements for 1967 to present is a testament to AISS as a model of success for the education of VI students. The VI Support Unit will continue to assist VI students to grow and maximise their potential.



During the June vacation in 1983, five students, accompanied by Ms Betty Frois, Miss Deborah Ng and two sighted volunteers, went on a study tour to Penang. They stayed three days at the St. Nicholas School for the Blind and visited other sites in Penang.

Ms Deborah Ng accompanied Sec 2T2 student, Mohd Iskandar, to attend Sports camp organised by SSCD on 28-29 May 2001 at Temasik Polytechnic.

In February 2003, the Sec 1 and 2 students were brought to the school gym to try out various equipment. Subsequently, 2 Sec 1 students attended 6 sessions at the gym, supervised by the school Leo Club members.>

During the SARS crisis in 2003, when all students were provided with ODTs to measure their body temperature, attempts were made to source for talking oral digital thermometers; only 2 were available and these were purchased by the school and issued to the two totally blind students (Lee Mei Ting of Sec 4N1 and Seet Yong Chye of Sec 1N1).


On 25 May 2003, the Independent Society of the Blind donated 12 units of the talking oral digital Thermometer and 1 unit of the talking infra-red ear thermometer to our school. All VI staff and students received a unit each.


When our school came under MOE's Programme for Rebuilding and IMproving Existing schools (PRIME), plans were laid for the building of a special room, fitted, equipped and furnished with facilities customised for our VI students.

The new Resource Room was completed in June 2004 and the IPVI moved into the new location in July. The new room is large and spacious which provides a conducive learning environment for our students.

Under PRIME, the school also made a great effort to build in features, which would be user-friendly to the VI. The features include - textured-tile trails leading from the school's front porch to the Admin office, the canteen, the toilets and the Resource Room;
- texture floor tiles for locating staircases;
- Braille signages for strategic locations;
- covered drains; and
- strong colour contrasts for the low vision students.

The Daily Living Skills (DLS) training module was conceived and implemented in AISS in September 2004 as an enrichment programme to equip our VI students with essential life skills. The ultimate goal is personal preparation for self-reliance.

To service this training programme, the new purpose-built room was fitted with washing and cooking facilities (sink, counter, cabinets, cooking appliances and utensils).

With the unreserved support of Mr Tan Keng Joo (the Principal) and encouragement from Mrs Lim Yap Cheng (HOD – Pastoral Care and Career Guidance), the DLS training module was planned and develop. The training process will prepare VI students to perform daily living activities safely and independently in a familiar environment. Skills taught included meal preparation, household chores and the use of kitchen appliances. The DLS training module is ongoing.

On 23rd March 2006, members of our school’s Leo Club, together with a team of 7 under-graduates from SMU, co-organised an excursion for the VI students of our school to Mount Faber, where there is a wall relief, consisting of 16 panels of tactile murals, depicting the history of Singapore from being a fishing village to an independent nation. The VI students learnt about the past by feeling the tactile pictures, portraying significant moments of our history and features of the different cultures.

The excursion also provided an opportunity outside of school for VI and sighted students to interact and build friendships. Both VI students and their sighted peers thoroughly enjoyed the event. It was a learning experience for all involved.


Our students went on several learning journeys which enhanced their learning.

2006: Mount Faber Excursion

2007: Dragon boat

2008: Labrador Excursion

2009: Aerogreen Farm Visit

2012: Activity at Planet Bowl at Civil Service Club, Tessensohn Road



P.E. Programme



Highlights: 1967 to Present

The record of the highlights and achievements for 1967 to present is a testament to AISS as a model of success for the education of VI students. The VI Support Unit will continue to assist VI students to grow and maximise their potential.



In our effort to promote the holistic education of our students, we are constantly working out programmes that will give our VI students the same opportunities for their full development.

The Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) came into partnership with our school to conduct a Physical Education programme for our VI students. The programme commenced on Wednesday, 11 July 2007, and was conducted subsequently every Wednesday, during the P.E. periods.

In 2011, The training was taken over by our own school AED, Mr Casey Lee.
The programme was suspended in 2012 for lack of suitable trained staff but was resumed in 2014.

In 2012, to promote appreciation of the Arts, Miss Winnie Lim (the Art teacher) conducted a Tape Sculpture workshop for our VI students and staff. In the same year, we also visited sculptor, Victor Tan’s exhibition, Entitled, INSIGHT.

On the 19th and 20th May, 2015, a one and a half day Sports Camp was organised in partnership with Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) for our VI students. Seven students participated in the programme which comprised the following activities: goalball game, ballroom dancing and tandem-cycling at East Coast Park.

The trainers enjoyed working with our students as they were responsive and cooperative. They commended our students' cheerfulness and willingness to learn. The teachers observed that the students were very enthusiastic and immensely enjoyed the activities conducted by SDSC officers. We also observed that the students benefited from the programme as reflected in their positive feedback.

AI participated in MOE ExcelFest 2007, showcasing our Integration Programme for the VI and the various assistive technology devices.

The highlight of 2009 is the Commemoration of the Bicentenary of the birth of Louis Braille, the man who devised the Braille code. 4 VI students presented his life and work at the school weekly assembly. The audience was deeply impressed by the confident and arresting delivery of the 4 students.

To raise public awareness of how man's faithful friend can help the blind, Mr Kua Cheng Hock, from Guide Dogs Association, Singapore, accompanied by his beautiful guide dog, Kendra, gave a talk to the school community on 9th February 2009.

On 27 May 2009, together with some students from RGS, we visited an aeroponics farm. The trip was most fascinating as our students were able to feel, smell and taste the vegetables grown on the farm.

At the invitation of the NPCC, our VI students ventured to Pulau Ubin, where they walked through the sensory trail and even tried their hands on outdoor cooking! This exhilarating adventure is a rousing round-up to our activities for the year of 2010.

In 2011, AI was invited to showcase our devices at YJC Exhibition.

The Sports Carnival is a major annual event of the School. As part of the activities for Sports Carnival 2009, the Principal, Mr Stephen Chin, and VP, Mdm Rina, together with other staff, volunteers and parents, our VI students trekked through Admiralty Park.

Our VI students continued to participate in the Sports Carnival when the venue was moved to Bedok Reservoir. Since 2014, Miss Chew Ing Lim, the Principal accompanied us to hike round the reservoir, with the assistance of other staff. Miss Chew’s exemplary participation was a motivating force for the VI students.

Responding to our VI students’ desire for Physical Education, Miss Chew made great effort to provide P.E. for our students. The programme re-commenced in 2014 with the engagement of a fitness instructor. It is ongoing.


Distinguished Students



Highlights: 1967 to Present

The record of the highlights and achievements for 1967 to present is a testament to AISS as a model of success for the education of VI students. The VI Support Unit will continue to assist VI students to grow and maximise their potential.



Several of our VI students have distinguished themselves in their achievements. Numbered among the first batch of students was Kew Poh Sin who adopted the name of Roger Kool. He became a popular radio disc jockey. He then set up and operated his own record company in Canada.

In the period, 1967 to 1977, Tan Hang Siah pursued Business Studies at Ngee Ann Polytechnic while four students eventually graduated from Singapore University. They were Kua Cheng Huang (Resource teacher), Chua Howe Liang (runs his own business), Albert Toh Ah Bot (Public Relations Officer, Head-Communications, SAVH, Braille Production Officer, Lighthouse School) and Goh Yu Huat (tuition teacher and sales).

There were five other trained teachers, namely Lam Peng Cheong, Anna Soh, Kua Cheng Hock, Tian Liak Shin and Rokkiah HussainCheng Hock is a sales agent for insurance, assistive devices and other products while Peng Cheong, Anna and Liak Shin taught in Lighthouse School and Rokkiah in a mainstream primary school.

From 1978-1988, seven pursued tertiary education in various universities and attained success in their careers while others completed studies in Polytechnics.

      • Peter Hung Tee Lay (1978; lecturer in Ngee Ann Polytechnic)
      • Tan Hang Siah (1978; Ngee Ann Polytechnic; Advertising Co.)
      • Goh Jong Theng, Kelvin (1979; Polytechnic; insurance agent)
      • Low Loong Shiew (1980; Pursued studies in Japan; works in Commercial Co.)
      • Kua Kah Noi (1981; pursued studies in UK; Tutor in university in UK)
      • Loo Ah Choo (1981; Child Care Courses; Kindergarten Principal)
      • Ali Daud (1982; Counselling Courses; Student Counsellor in British Council)
      • Ang Kim Ho (1981; Shatec Catering School; Chef in hotel)
      • Mohd Zim bin Ismail (1982; Counselling Courses; School Counsellor)
      • Kong Pick Lip (1983; Ngee Ann Poly; Works in Commercial Co.)
      • Loh Yew Fai (1983; Ngee Ann Poly; runs fish supply business)
      • Oh Kim Chwee (1983; Shatec Catering School; Chef in hotel)
      • Sim Kah Yong (1983; Welfare Officer at SAVH; staff in Dialogue in the Dark)
      • Toh Chin Aik (1983; Admin Officer at SgEnable)
      • Kwong Yeok Chuen (1984; Shatec Catering School; Chef)
      • Ong Hock Bee (1985; Ngee Ann Poly; Family business)
      • Lim Lee Lee (1986; Open U; Insurance agent)
      • Ping Teck Huat (1987; Business Studies, Ngee Ann Poly)
      • Andrew Chew Hew Jeow (1987; Research Officer at Singapore Pools) 
      • Kua Kah Mui (1987; Studies in UK; Lecturer at a university in UK)
      • Zulkarnaen Abu Bakar (1989; Shatec Catering School; Chef)
      • Ng Guan Chye (1989; National Institute of Commerce)

The enrolment for the period 1989-1999 was much lower. Among the graduates were:

      • Penny Chong Chew Luan (1995, History B.A> honours, Resource teacher at AISS)
      • Edwin Khoo Tech Chuan (1996; Completed Sound Engineering Course; Supervisor at Assistive Technology Centre, SAVH)

From 2000 to 2010, students who distinguished themselves include:

      • Lim Xiang Bao (2002; Polytechnic; works in Commercial Co.)
      • Lim Xiang De (2002; Polytechnic; works in Commercial Co.)
      • Teong Ze Gang (2002; Mathematics, NUS; IT Service Officer)
      • Tan Lee Juan (2004; Millennia Institute; Clinic Assistant)
      • Muhammad Firdaus bin Sarifi (2008; Republic Polytechnic)
      • Goh Zhong Yi (2009; Business Application, Republic Polytechnic; Receptionist at Family Services Centre)
      • Lim Yu Kai (2009; ITE; Nanyang Polytechnic)
      • Steven Tanus (2010; 4th year Bachelor of Music, honours, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, NUS)
      • Tan Boon Keong, Dickson (2010; Nanyang Poly; 4th year Computer Science, NUS)
      • Chong Ci En, Amanda (2010; 4th year Social Work, NUS)

Successful graduates from 2011 to 2017 are:
      • Ong Hui Xin (2011; 3rd year Psychology, SMU)
      • Tang Wei Chong (2012; College in Louisiana, USA)
      • Hung Hui Xin, Joan (2012; 3rd year Mathematical Science, NTU)
      • Lionel Tan Jie Hui (2013; ITE; 1st year Business Management, Nanyang Poly)
      • Stephanie Ow Jia Min (2013; 2nd year Dip in Music, NAFA)
      • Neo Jun Kai (2013; 2nd year Business Services, ITE Central)
      • Ng Shi Jia (2014; Accounts, Private College)
      • Sakinah bte Zainal (2014; 3rd year Business Management, Nanyang Polytechnic)
      • John Danesh s/o Krishnan (2015; 2nd year social enterprise and management, Republic Poly)
      • Claire Teo Li Ling (2015; 2nd year Diploma in Performance, LASALLE College of the Arts)
      • Neo Kah Wee (2016; 1st year Multimedia and Infocom Technology, Nanyang Poly)
      • Dallon Au Yew Zhang (2016; 1st year InfoTech, ITE East)

This impressive record shows that the IPVI is indeed fulfilling its mission of providing VI students with a secondary education that prepares them for further studies and gainful employment in society.


Besides academic success, VI students also excelled in the non-academic domain...

In 1999, Nuraziana of Sec 3 Express was selected to receive the NKF award for outstanding students. She was one of twelve awardees, selected from all schools (Primary, Secondary and Junior College) in Singapore.

Mohd Ismail was one of the participants from Singapore at the Far-East South Pacific International Competition for the Disabled, held in Bangkok in January (5th to 14th) 1999. He won prizes in the track-and-field events.

Two students, Mohd Ismail and Teh Yong Kang, participated and won medals in the 1999 Southern Cross Multi-Disability Championship held in Sydney, Australia from 24th to 31st, October 1999. They took part in the bowling events.

In the 23rd SDSC National Swimming Championships, (held on 12 July 2003 at the Toa Payoh Swimming Complex), Tan Lee Juan participated in 5 events and won 5 medals. She was first for the 200 metres breast-stroke event.

Lee Juan was also selected by SDSC to participate in the FESPIC Youth Games (Sports for the Disabled) held in Hong Kong on 21-28 December. She took part in the swimming events and won 2 silver and 1 bronze medals.

Nazirul participated in a poetry recitation competition with the Malay Society in 2005.

In 2010, charged with enthusiasm, Tang Wei Chong presented his project on AIDS to his 2N3 class, with his classmate assisting in showing the slides. He was applauded by his classmates and commended by his Science teacher.

In 2015, Nurul Natasya (Sec 2) participated in the Eighth ASEAN Para Games.

On 29 January 2016 Adelyn Koh performed at a concert held at National Arts Gallery.

In March 2016, seven students showcased their art work, expressing their aspirations at the Unseen Constellation at Objectif.

In October 2016, Nurul Natasya performed at a concert held at Anglo-Chinese School.


Media



Highlights: 1967 to Present

The record of the highlights and achievements for 1967 to present is a testament to AISS as a model of success for the education of VI students. The VI Support Unit will continue to assist VI students to grow and maximise their potential.



The IPVI in AISS has also attracted much media attention throughout the years. It has been featured in all the local newspapers and radio and television stations. It is also an object of study by students of local universities, institutions of education and welfare organisations.

Our learning journey to Mount Faber was featured in MOE’s magazine, Contact Online, Issue 12 Aug 2006, entitled “A Learning Experience through Touch”

There is no doubt that VI students in AISS will continue to achieve both in the academic and co-curricular domains.