It feels good to Micah
* This article came out 10 years ago.
Like many four-year-old boys, Micah Cheung loves trains.
However, unlike most four-year-olds, Micah can read about trains in books written in Braille.
Micah is vision-impaired and attends Gowrie Harbour Family and Children’s Centre in Docklands.
He has attended Gowrie since he was 18 months old and the staff have incorporated Braille into the centre’s programs in a variety of ways.
Notices put up around the centre are Brailled, the children have learnt about Braille artists and the centre has been visited by paralympian Ian Speed, who also has a vision-impairment.
By incorporating Braille in these and other ways, Gowrie hopes to enable Micah to reach his potential and also to educate his peers about vision-impairment.
Gowrie educator Ceri May said Micah’s peers were keen to incorporate Braille into their programs and to make sure Micah was included.
Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development, Wendy Lovell, visited the centre last month to learn more about the Braille program.
She said it was clear that the staff at the centre were doing a fantastic job.
“It’s clear he has a lot of confidence and that they are setting him up for his future education,” Ms Lovell said.
Sue Hartley, from Vision Australia has worked with Micah since he was a toddler and said, in her experience, Gowrie’s Braille program was unique.
She said Gowrie had not only provided the assistance needed for Micah to reach his potential but had also created a supportive environment.
“It’s fantastic how Gowrie has taken on Micah’s needs and created such an inclusive environment,” Ms Hartley said.
Micah’s mother, Elaine Wong agreed that Gowrie had provided an exceptional opportunity for Micah to learn.
Micah will start school next year and Ms Wong said she was busy looking for a school that would be able to support Micah’s needs in the same way Gowrie had. •
Caption: Vision Australia’s Sue Hartley, Minister Wendy Lovell, Gowrie educator Ceri May and Micah Cheung.