Sundus’s Story

Sundus, Albino young girl from Al Khader village in Bethlehem that has been inserted at the mainstream school since she was in the 1st grade after finishing her kindergarten in school for visually impaired. Sundus always aimed to live her life similar to her peers and not to be controlled by her low vision condition caused by her albinism. Her persistence to be included in mainstream school as her siblings helped her a lot to be fully included in a normal daily life in her school, family and her society as well.

Oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) is a group of rare inherited disorders characterized by a reduction or complete lack of melanin pigment in the skin, hair and eyes. Absent or insufficient melanin pigment results in vision abnormalities, and light skin that is very susceptible to damage from the sun. Visual changes include involuntary side-to-side eye movement, and sensitivity to light.

Since 2010, the vision rehabilitation department found in the Bethlehem Arab society has been following the case of Sundus with much care. Initially she had a functional assessment done by the team of 5 working in the department to obtain the upmost professional and accurate diagnosis. After assessment, the team provided her with a plan that included early intervention sessions, training, and

assistive devices. In addition to the mentioned above the team was involved in school visits, environment adaptation, recommendations, and medical reports presented for the school.

She is now 16 years old and will start the 10th grade in September 2018. Many challenges faced her as a student with low vision but having supportive family, cooperative teachers and school, proper functional vision assessment and intervention helped her to be fully included in her society. Sundus now is fully independent in all ADL’s, uses assistive optical and non-optical devices like hand magnifier and filter glasses, socially as a leader of a group of girls scout and participating in different social activities and welling to talk about her vision loss and experience bravely, more self-confidence with excellent academic achievements.

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