Baker makes history by becoming VUT's first visually-impaired graduate

12 September 2020 - 11:54
By Suthentira Govender
Thabo Lenyora is set to become the Vaal University of Technology's first visually impaired graduate
Image: Supplied Thabo Lenyora is set to become the Vaal University of Technology's first visually impaired graduate

A Free State baker is set to become the Vaal University of Technology's (VUT's) first visually-impaired graduate.

31-year-old Thabo Lenyora of Ventersburg will receive a National Diploma in Policing at VUT's upcoming spring graduation ceremony.

He was in grade 11 when glaucoma — a disease which damages the optic nerve — robbed him of most of his eyesight.

“I have enough vision to walk around on my own but that’s it — for the rest, including reading and writing, I need assistance,” said Lenyora.

He completed his policing diploma through VUT’s disabilities services unit in just over three years.

“I used a speech device called a non-visual desktop assistant which communicates everything through speech.

“It was critical in helping me get through all the study and writing involved,” Lenyora said.

“VUT’s disability unit was in its infancy when I began my studies in 2017.

“Progress has been made in providing facilities for disabled students at VUT and there is always good support from lecturers.

“Using a disability as an excuse for not doing well in your studies is wrong. A disability can make studying more challenging but disabled students can excel if they work hard and commit and discipline themselves,” he said.

He wants to study law next year and concentrate on building up his bakery which he runs in his hometown with his fiancée, Anny Tsubella.

“I will not allow my disability to hold me back in that area,” he said.

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