Disability is not inability
THERE are students with special needs who face challenges such as vision, hearing, speech, locomotor and learning disabilities on a daily basis. Despite these challenges, these students walk the hall of universities in Malaysia with determination and strength to succeed.
Aiman Syah Husin is a final-year student of Bachelor of Multimedia Technology (Hons) in Interactive Multimedia Design at Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Institute of Information Technology (UniKL MIIT).
In 2019, Aiman lost the function of his left hand after a road accident. Adapting to life as a Persons with Disabilities (PwD) was not easy.
“What kind of work can I do? How can I continue my studies with only one functioning hand?”
He struggled to see the future for himself. He wondered how he would be able to work, study or even achieve happiness in his life.
Eventually, with encouragement and support from his family and friends, he finally came to terms with the new reality and forced himself to move on and continue with his studies.
“There are ways you can use to manage your limitations and get through challenges and problems, but you have to start somewhere,” he said.
Despite being a PwD now, his life is no longer defined by his disability. He lives his life just like how everyone else does.
“I can still cook and drive with one hand but I can’t do extreme outdoor activities like I used to do, and most importantly, I’m healthy and I’m happy,” said Aiman.
In class, Aiman is an active learner. He always asks questions on matters unclear to him and participates during class sessions.
He is a very hard-working student, pleasant with his lecturers, and a likeable guy among his classmates.
On top of that, he also participated in many student activities and forums at UniKL. For his final-year project, he produced an animated Public Service Announcement (PSA) video series on disability awareness.
As a PwD, he feels that not only that PwD must know their rights but the public also must be informed of the difficulties and discrimination that PwD are facing in Malaysia.
“My main purpose is to convey information about PwD to everyone. As a PwD myself, I feel called to represent myself for them. Many are unaware of our capabilities. There is so much discrimination against the PwD community. The public must know that not all PwD were born with disabilities; some may become a PwD from an accident or illness,” Aiman explained.
The animate animated PSA series consists of an introduction to PwD, their rights, the discrimination towards PwD, and proposed solutions to the discrimination faced by them.
The project won him a bronze medal in the International University Carnival on E-Learning IUCEL 2022. The animated PSA series can be viewed at https://aimanhusin01.wixsite.com.
Aiman’s creative combination of 2D and 3D graphics animation in the PSA has proven to attract viewers’ attention and in turn, he hopes that it would influence positive behaviour.
“The animated PSA series is suitable for both children and adults. I hope that the PSA can educate viewers in understanding PwD better as a person and not a subject of insult or ridicule. Through these small efforts, to some extent, I also hope to raise the PwD community level in society and increase the awareness of the Malaysian public towards PwD,” said Aiman.
Aiman joined and participated in many other competitions as well such as the Yayasan Penyelidikan Antartika Sultan Mizan Covid PSA in which he won the consolation prize.
He won two gold medals and one silver at the Sintok International Games and Gamification 2021 (SIGG 2021). Apart from academic-based competitions, Aiman was also a winner of the Sinar FM GAYA Raya Bersama TOP last year.
When asked to comment about his winning, he said, “All the subjects that I learned at UniKL such as 3D animation, game design, typography, multimedia authoring, photography, audio video, mixed reality, and the rest are in line with the creative industry demand.”
Aiman added, “Apart from teaching me to think outside the box, these courses also helped me discover the right tools and tap my creativity to come out with great results.”
Next, Aiman will also be participating in the International Final Year Project (FYP) Competition and Exhibition, I-CPEX 2022 hosted by UniKL MIIT this coming October.
Interested students from higher education institutions are welcome to participate. Registration can be made at https://icpex.unikl.edu.my/.
Aiman said that he loves studying at UniKL as the university is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and is close to public transportation such as the LRT and monorail. There are also many places nearby such as Quill City Mall and Kampung Baru for breakfast and lunch.
As a student for almost seven years at UniKL MIIT starting from his Diploma in Multimedia years, he said, “I learned a lot at UniKL and I hope my skills and knowledge would help me contribute to the creative industry in Malaysia. I would also like to thank Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) for the financial assistance during my studies.”
Aiman lives with his mother, Musalmah Harun. Before his accident, his mother was a primary school bookstore seller but had to quit her job to take care of him during his recovery.
His final advice to PwD students is that “this field has a lot of competitors”. He further advised, “Find something that makes you stand out from the rest. Strengthen your portfolio. The sky’s the limit. Always trust in Allah’s plans for His plans are the best. If you think that your life is hard, there are many others who face a lot more hardship than you. Trust the process and don’t give up.”
This article was published in The Star newspaper.
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