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Paul Simon knows a talent when he hears the person sing. That is why the singing icon allowed Kodi Lee to perform Simon And Garfunkel’s 1970 hit  Bridge Over Troubled Water  during the quarter-finals of  America’s Got Talent . On Wednesday, Lee crossed the final bridge to become the 14th season’s champion, netting US$1mil (RM4.19mil) and a chance to headline shows at Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas from Nov 7 to 10. The 22-year-old, who is blind and has autism, was an early hot favourite to triumph. He was fast-tracked to appear in the quarter-finals, with the judges, including Simon Cowell and actress Gabrielle Union, gushing over his performance in the audition round. On Wednesday, the other nine finalists were not a match for Lee. His win was also a triumph for his mother who spotted his talent early and took efforts to help forge a path for him. “I realised he’s an entertainer. Through music and performing, he was able to withstand living in this world because when you’re autistic, it’s really hard to do what everybody else does. “It actually has saved his life playing music,” said Tina Lee. For now, he can mull over how to spend the US$1 million. “Kodi would love to have a grand piano in every colour possible,” his mother said in a recent interview with Good Housekeeping magazine. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network Read more at https://www.star2.com/entertainment/2019/09/20/blind-autistic-kodi-lee-wins-americas-got-talent/#YUejZLiJ1owQ3j5b.99
For some people like R.Sriramanujam, there is a great scope despite being blind. He was not someone who usually cursed his fate but instead, he decided to change his chapter by achieving something great in his life. This goes to show how determined he is. He approached his life with a fresh perspective and today he is the world’s first blind news reader. Hailing from Tamil Nadu, he has received praises for his attitude. He may not see the whole world but he made the whole world see him. This sums up the essential Sriramanujan for you! The 14-year-old T Sriramanujan is visually impaired since his birth but that didn’t stop him from fulfilling his evergreen dream of becoming a news anchor. He went live for 22 minutes on the Lotus News which is a satellite television channel based at Coimbatore. Thus he became world’s first visually impaired news anchor as claimed by the channel. Sriramanujam is a student of the blind school and reads the special news live with Braille-reading technique. He developed the habit of reading through fingers. He shared his first experience that he was petrified with fear when he was actually reading the news for the first time. But after going about his business, he had gone from strength to strength to cover topics such as national, sports and entertainment news. He told the Hindu, “I was trembling with fear when I read the first news. But, on reading it, I gained confidence and read the remaining 30 news items in my half-hour slot covering topics such as national, sports and entertainment news.” Sriramanujam was blissfully pleased as punch that Lotus news channel has offered him a wonderful opportunity to showcase his mettle. He can now breath a sigh of relief to say that his long-cherished dream of becoming a new anchor is finally accomplished. He wishes to do it better as the days progress. Channel Chairman, identified as G K S Selvakumar told PTI that the main aim of introducing the visually handicapped boy was to promote and create awareness on eye donation among the public, “So that such talented people get their vision back and achieve their goals.”
An iconic fast food spot in Petaling Jaya has been in the spotlight for hiring senior citizens and people with disabilities. A Twitter user known as Cikgu Brian recently posted about his visit to A&W on Lorong Sultan and how impressed he was by the restaurant’s diverse group of employees. “A&W Petaling Jaya has gained my respect for hiring the hearing-impaired and senior citizens. “It not only makes this a family-oriented environment but it also gives the staff a chance to feel wanted and respected,” he wrote. His followers then chimed in to applaud A&W Malaysia for providing elderly folk and disabled people with work opportunities. “This is great, they’re giving a chance for disabled people to work. “Thanks to (companies like) KFC, A&W, Foodpanda, and GrabFood for giving opportunities like this to people,” wrote Twitter user rusukx. Brian’s post also brought back a sense of nostalgia for customers who have been patronising the outlet since it opened its doors in 1965. “Stepping into this A&W feels like going back in time to the 1990s. All of a sudden, it feels like time moves slower here. “Also, customers are literally talking and chatting. Not many are playing with their phones. “I don’t know why but the atmosphere here is unique,” said AnisKhalidi. “I feel young every time I enter an A&W. (This was where I came for) dating, skipping class, and chilling out on weekends,” wrote KarolAriffSaid_. A&W Malaysia also responded to Brian’s tweet and thanked him for sharing the touching story with his audience.   Despite the heartwarming news, the outlet in question won't be around for much longer after A&W Malaysia’s former owners KUB Malaysia Bhd sold off the 0.42-hectare plot of land last year. A&W Malaysia’s new chief executive officer George Ang said in March that the fate of the Petaling Jaya drive-in remains unchanged and will be demolished by the end of 2019.    
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