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She Learned How to Read at 13 Although Visually Impaired. Now She Has a Ph.D. at 36

| How Africa News


Alanka Babb was born blind in Guyana and initially resided with her grandmother in one of the most impoverished areas of the nation; however, with the passing of her previous guardian, she was forced to move in with other family members.

Education was never prioritized in her family, whether she was living with her grandmother or other relatives. Babb claimed that her grandma was more concerned with meeting basic domestic needs than with her education.

She wrote in a post on Insider that even though her family expected her to go to school every day, they didn’t care. She attended a local school with less qualified teachers than schools in wealthy neighborhoods.

She struggled in school because of her eye issue and lacked sufficient educational help at home or at school. She claimed that viewing the information on the blackboard was not significantly improved by her position in front of the class. Her school lacked the resources necessary to assist a disabled pupil.

She advanced grade levels despite having vision problems and being unable to see what was written on the board. Her major turning point, which she recalled, was when a teacher discovered that she couldn’t read.

She vowed to improve her reading skills and began to struggle through books she acquired from the school library.

“I soon realized I loved reading, although I couldn’t pronounce many words. As I got older, I kept reading and pushing myself academically despite my vision limitations. I attended college in Guyana without support for my eye condition, but I still graduated,” she wrote in a post on the Insider.

Despite having declining eyesight and having doubts about her decision, she traveled to America at the age of 28 to complete her education. She later learned, however, that the United States has a Disabilities Act, which mandates that colleges must offer students with disabilities access to support services.

“At the school, I was given extra time for testing and access to my professors’ presentations before my classes. With these added accommodations, I started to thrive,” she noted.

After earning her master’s degree in December 2019, Alanka Babb enrolled in a doctoral program in teaching in January 2020. In 2022, she presented and won her dissertation defense.

Despite having a disability, growing up in a poor neighborhood, and receiving her education in underfunded schools during her early years, Alanka maintained her faith, and at the age of 36, she holds a Ph.D.

| How Africa News

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