EBU(Junior Group) Excellent Work

“Braille literacy chang es my way of life”
Ireland Saleem Ur Rahman(18/ male)

My name is Saleem Ur Rahman. I came to Ireland from Pakistan in the year 2000, I was nine years old. I joined St Joseph's school for visually impaired students in Dromcondra. It is here that I began to learn English and Braille at the same time.
I found the learning of Braille very easy. Perhaps this is because I had a very good teacher of Braille. I started off learning grade one Braille but quickly moved on to master grade two Braille. Soon I was using Braille for every Subject. My family were very proud of me that I could both read and write Braille. I was also becoming fluent in English.
When I went to secondary school I continued to learn Braille. In the area of math it was necessary to learn new codes for geometry and trigonometry. I also began to learn a new language, which was French. Again I had to learn new codes. Braille maths at times can be difficult but I find the use of tactile diagrams very useful in assisting me to understand. When I came to secondary school I also started to use a laptop. The laptop is useful in many ways in particular for my text files. However if I have to study parts of the text and remember what I have read it is necessary to have the text at my fingertips. When learning there is really no substitute for Braille.
I am presently in Transition Year. During this year I had to do two weeks work experience. I chose to do this in the Braille Production Unit in Drumcondra. My job was to proof read Braille primary school books. This job I found interesting. I was also pleased that my knowledge of Braille allowed me to have a role in the production of Braille schoolbooks. In the near future I hope to work with a Braille display. This will be very useful in working towards my Leaving Certificate exam.
I'm currently learning the Braille Quran, which is a holy book for Muslims. I'm very pleased that this holy book is in Braille as it is a very important part of my religious education. The Quran is in Arabic, so again I am learning a new language and new Braille codes!
Braille literacy changes my way of life.
Braille literacy enables me to receive an education. I am studying in a mainstream inclusive school. All my textbooks are produced in Braille. This allows me to follow the same course as other students, do the same exams and work towards the same qualifications.
Braille literacy also enables me to study my religion, which is a very important part of my life.
I also enjoy reading and the huge number of popular titles, which are now available in Braille, allows me to enjoy the same books as my sighted friends.
Braille has changed my life. If there was no Braille then blind or visually impaired people could not read or write. This would be a big disadvantage. I hope to keep my Braille to the last day.
Finally I would like to say a big thank you to Louis Braille. 


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