A teacher guides visually impaired children on their career path

Zhang Lin gives practical instructions to a visually impaired student in a massage class at Beijing Union University. [Photo by Ju Huanzong/Xinhua]

In a special acupuncture and massage class at Beijing Union University, Zhang Lin uses her clear, loud voice to guide students through every step.

The students work in pairs, one as a “doctor” and the other as a “patient”, while Zhang patiently and individually corrects their skills, holding hands to find the exact pressure point.

Zhang, 47, is a special education teacher whose students have varying degrees of visual impairment. September 10 marked Zhang’s 27th Teacher’s Day as a teacher of visually impaired children.

“When I started my career with these children, the biggest obstacle was braille,” says Zhang, adding that she taught braille every night, but found it difficult because the raised dots on the books were the same color as the background of the paper.

During the teaching process, Zhang found that Braille systematic medical teaching materials were relatively rare on the market, so she made full use of the Braille she had learned, to design and develop a series of teaching materials. unimpeded with other teachers. .

In addition to teaching materials, Zhang and his colleagues also developed auxiliary teaching tools.

“For example, we used convex lines and points to clearly mark the meridians and acupuncture points on the human body model, which was equipped with the point reading function, so that students could identify the names and indications of acupuncture points with point-reading pens,” Zhang said.

Physical ability is also a huge challenge for acupuncture and moxibustion teachers. In the practical training classroom, students with visual impairments are unable to concentrate in class in the same way as those with full sight, making one-on-one instruction essential for special education teachers.

“I have to guide them hand in hand, explore acupuncture points, and repeatedly help them adjust strength and technique. After each class, it’s normal to be drenched in sweat,” Zhang says.

“Zhang takes great care of us, and she also takes care of every classmate. In every way, she is our role model,” says Chang Erhan, Zhang’s student.

Zhang says, “I have taught thousands of visually impaired students and they have also taught me a lot, such as not giving up in the face of difficulty.

More than 90% of Zhang’s students are now engaged in massage, rehabilitation, health care and other fields.

“Being in the industry for more than 20 years, I have witnessed China’s progress in protecting the rights and interests of people with disabilities, bringing tangible benefits to visually impaired students,” she said.

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