Award-winning professor overcomes blindness barrier 師鐸獎全盲教授 以身作則突破科系藩籬

Thu, Oct 05, 2017 - Page 15

Despite losing his sight due to retinal damage, Lee Hsiao-ping, winner of the 2017 National Excellent Teacher Award and assistant professor at the Chung Shan Medical University, continued to work hard at his studies.

Lee’s sight began to deteriorate after he started university, and by the time he was studying the first year of his master’s degree it had got to the stage where he was forced to defer his studies. After he had accepted his situation, he started studying Braille, and then returned to school. He was later accepted on a doctoral program at the Department of Computer Science in National Tsing Hua University.

Lee used his own experience of studying as the motivation for his own research, and threw himself into the R&D of accessible information systems and assistive device design.

In addition to designing assistive technologies for the visually impaired, Lee also teaches at university. He has to spend more time in lesson preparation than other teachers, and has to memorize the whole lesson if it is to go smoothly.

Lee says that he hopes his winning the award will inspire visually impaired students. He believes that they do not need to restrict themselves to studying literature, and can study most fields of science. So long as they conquer their own fears, have the courage to try and are willing to put in the effort, there is no reason they cannot succeed, he says.

(CNA, translated by Paul Cooper)