35, Cape Town
Benedict is currently studying a Masters Degree in Disability Studies at UCT. The focus of his Masters is Inclusive Education, in particular on: if and where special schools and teachers are aligning (or not) with the Government’s whitepaper on inclusivity.
Benedict is employed part-time at UCT, as a contributing Lecturer in their MOOC programme that provides Teacher Education for Disability Inclusion (TEDI).
Benedict has congenital glaucoma (which occurs in infants or young children and usually it is diagnosed within the first year of life, while it is quite a rare condition [that may be inherited].) As a result, Benedict is blind.
In terms of how it affects Benedict in his life, studies, and work he says that it very much depends on his surroundings. Namely, whether his surroundings are conducive to him or not. Also, if Benedict is familiar with his surroundings and those who are sharing the environment understand what assists Benedict, then he says blindness doesn’t really matter. Whereas if he’s in an unfamiliar place and those around him don’t understand his blindness, then it can become a problem as he needs someone to help show him what’s around him (and where the doors, restrooms, etc, all are). In short, he says that his blindness doesn’t affect him much if he’s been accommodated successfully.
In order to work on a computer, whether for his studies or for a job, he installs special software on his computer that facilitates him to be able to use it fully (as an abled-bodied person would use a computer).
Outside of his studies and work, Benedict describes himself as a mix of introvert and extrovert, with a good sense of humour and as someone who is considerate of other people. When feeling introverted, he’ll stay home and read a novel (or listen to the TV or radio). When he’s feeling extroverted (and is amongst friends who understand him), he loves to go out – whether it’s hiking, dining and, now and again, going clubbing.
He lives and studies in Cape Town, but he’s originally from the Free State.