31 May, 2015
Abu Dhabi: Mir Rayyan Sultan’s beloved grandfather is facing gradual loss of vision, and the 11-year-old often wonders what it might be like for him. So, when his school offered him a chance to experience a day as a special needs individual, he volunteered to go about his day blindfolded.
“I thought it would be difficult to move from one place to another but I soon learnt how to use my senses of touch and hearing to get around. But I was always afraid that I would get hurt, or be unable to move away if an object was hurtling towards me,” Sultan told Gulf News. “Now that I’ve been through the experience however, I have a better idea of how to help my granddad. For example, I can tell him what’s around him and ahead of him so he feels less worried,” the pupil from Pakistan added.
Sultan was one of 54 Grade 4 pupils at Al Mushrif Primary School in the capital who participated in Disabilities Awareness Week, an annual initiative that aims to help children understand the challenges and strengths of people with special needs. The school currently boasts about 600 pupils, and about three per cent of them have special needs.