Nanyang poly student pushes on despite eye defect

Nanyang poly student pushes on despite eye defect

When Mr Ang Chin Hao was diagnosed with macular dystrophy in 2012, it affected his ability to see objects from a distance. Mr Ang, 21, who has just completed his diploma in engineering informatics in Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), could not see the words on the screen clearly even when he was sitting at the front of the classroom.

But he found a solution to this problem with the help of his NYP lecturer, Mr Vincent Phua.

Mr Phua, a senior lecturer who was Mr Ang's personal mentor in NYP, introduced to him a special computer software.

It will display images shown on the class screen on his personal computer.

Mr Phua also helped his student to get government support for an electronic magnifier, which cost $5,000 and which his family could not afford.

The electronic magnifier changes the size and colour of the words, helping him see better.

Mr Ang said: "Mr Phua helped me apply for the Special Assistance Fund. He prepared all the supporting documents from the school which I needed to submit (so I could get the funding)."


The outstanding student, who will graduate with a GPA of 3.7, also credits his parents for his success.

They specially bought and prepared food for him which was rich in Vitamin A, including vegetables such as carrots, which is beneficial for his eyes.

"And even when they found out there is no cure to my condition, which can only be stabilised, they didn't give up on me," Mr Ang said.

He hopes to pursue an engineering course in university and dreams of starting his own IT business one day.

Mr Ang felt that his condition strengthened his resolve to do well and helped push him further in life.

"I could give up and wallow in self-despair, or find a way to beat the disease.

"I know I am different from others. So I worked doubly hard for success," said Mr Ang.

Mr Ang hopes individuals who are going through similar challenges will adopt a positive attitude even in the face of adversity.

"Disability doesn't stop you from achieving success. The spirit is more important," he said.

This article was first published on May 14, 2015.
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