Central

Undaunted!

Totally blind 14-y-o excels in high school

Monday, September 25, 2017



Maggotty, St Elizabeth — She is totally blind, but 14-year-old Moneajah Elliott is not allowing that to hold her back.

At the end of the last school year Elliott who is now in grade nine at Maggotty High School in St Elizabeth, averaged 82 in class work and exam grades, with nine distinctions.

“Moneajah is outstanding, an example to others; we are really proud of her,” principal of Maggotty High, Sean Graham told Jamaica Observer Central.

Elliott is grateful to classmates who help her with taking notes, teachers who assist her with printed lessons, and her mother, Faithlyn Bleeching, who reads class notes and lessons to her.

Blessed with outstanding memory, Elliott then aces oral tests and exams at school. For Elliott, Braille (a written language for the blind) is a big help. However, her Braille machine malfunctioned and is currently being fixed in Kingston.

Elliott, who transferred to Maggotty High from Tarrant High in Kingston two years ago, says she has come to enjoy life at the school in remote northwest St Elizabeth.

“When I first came, I felt I would be out if place but I can say now I am a proud student of Maggoty High,” she said.

Outside of academics, she is also challenging the world. She boasts of riding a bicycle in her home community of Maggotty Pass and of even climbing trees, picking fruits, including mangoes and naseberries.

Elliott's mother says words can't explain how proud she is of the way her daughter is overcoming adversity.

“Sometimes she has challenges with other kids teasing her about her condition. I tell her she needs to accept the situation, and just keep doing her best at her school work and to be the best she can be at everything,” Bleeching said.

Elliott says she has gained satisfaction from helping other visually impaired children in various ways including providing guidance with Braille.

Her advice to others with serious disabilities is to “just appreciate who you are”.

— Garfield Myers

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