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Taiwan's first blind female doctoral student graduates

2012/06/16 22:47:51

Taipei, June 16 (CNA) Taiwan's first female blind doctorate graduate, Lai Shu-lan, moved many people to tears with a speech she made at the National Chung Cheng University graduation ceremony Saturday.

The 57-year-old Lai stood out among the university's 3,160 graduates, who included bachelors, masters and doctorate students.

She was diagnosed with the degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa, which caused her vision to start deteriorating at the age of 26.

Despite 20 years of medical treatment, her world turned from color to black and white, and eventually grey black, but she remained undefeated and in 2002 she obtained her masters degree.

Speaking of her journey to doctor of philosophy, she said that "it was a very difficult process, but learning helped me get back nearly all the abilities I had before I became blind," said Ali. "Blindness has also made me reflect on the meaning of life and existence, and has made me cherish every moment more."

After completing her dissertation on the effects of logotherapy among people who lose their sight in adulthood and how they can find meaning in life through therapy, she said, she hopes to apply her findings to adult education and design an education program for people who lose their vision in adulthood.

Lai said she is no longer afraid of what the future holds.

(By Yeh Tzu-kang and C.J. Lin)