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Orientation & Mobility Training at Madrassa An-Noor for the Blind

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All Praise is to Allah Ta'aala, the Lord of the World's. Peace & Salutations be upon our beloved Nabi Muhammad (P.B.U.H). Orientation and Mobility training is a system of teaching people who have a vision impairment or blind to learn to identify where they are and how to move around independently, as well as the use of one's remaining senses and residual vision if any. Life skills are a very important component of orientation and mobility training.

Staff and students from Madrassa An-Noor for the Blind are very fortunate to have recently been visited by a Master Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Brother Bashir Ebrahim OAM.
Brother Bashir Ebrahim originally from South Africa and now living in Australia, is a consultant and rehabilitation specialist for the Blind and Vision Impaired, with over 35 years of experience in the field. He is currently employed at Vision Australia (based in Brisbane, Queensland) which is the leading Organisation catering for the needs of the blind in Australia. Together with his wife Fathima, Bashir has been providing Orientation and Mobility specialist services, Wayfinding Solutions & Community Based Rehabilitation to help Blind and Vision impaired people in need of orientation and mobility training in developing Countries.

Brother Bashir will be staying at the Madrassa for a period of three weeks and during this time he will be conducting classes for staff and students aimed at teaching valuable skills needed to move around and live safely and independently. We hope to be working with Brother Bashir on a three to five year project to develop a program for students and staff training and development, as well as Community Education about the needs and abilities of people who are blind or vision impaired.

A very important aspect of orientation and mobility training is use of the long white cane which is also the international symbol of Blindness. The white cane must be the right size to be used effectively. Brother Bashir will be measuring all the students of Madrassa An-Noor cane sizes and will organize a new white cane made according to their size. This tool, along with the use of remaining senses such as hearing, smell, touch and orientation skills, will be of immense importance for the student's mobility.

The skills that have been taught at the Madrassa will go a long way to ensuring that our students become self sufficient and independent, especially when they return to their country of origin, where Insha-Allah they will be employed to provide Islamic teaching to their local communities.

Brother Bashir is also working closely with the Madressa to establish a program to also teach the students Life Skills, which include shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing clothes and maintaining their own household independently. An example of this strategy, will the establishment of a Independent Living Unit/Flat at Madrassa An-Noor where students in their final year will have the opportunity to live in the unit and learn to manage this living arrangement independently, safely and confidently. May Almighty Allah accept all our efforts and forgive us for our mistakes and may He accept us all, Aameen.

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A Specialist Islamic Institute for the Visually Impaired

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