WBU-AP(Junior Group) Excellent Work
“How Braille And Audio Devices Help Me in Leading A Normal Life”
Vietnam Le Trong Tuan(22/Male)
It was a real treasure that I found - something that brought me happiness, warmth and pleasure. It took away my inferiority and my sorrow and gave me the confidence to walk without fear; it gave me the reason to hope and dream. Truly, being able to use Braille and Audio Devices has brought a great change in my life.
I was born blind and my childhood days were sunk in depression, sadness and the feeling of an inferiority complex. This was all because of my disability, my blindness. Nevertheless, I refused to let these feelings get me down for long as I had a burning dream that I would one day be able to go to school like other children.
I often wondered whether the days of anxiety, waiting and hoping would ever end. Will my dream ever come true? And so I lived quietly as a shadow until the age of twelve.
One day I received news that brought great excitement and aroused my curiosity - I would have the chance to learn Braille and to use Audio Devices. This was truly unexpected pleasure and my life turned a new way.
I experienced first joy at learning how to produce Braille lines. They provided the seeds of hope which formed my foundation and gave me the confidence to step out into society. Braille lines gave me the opportunity to go to school and attend classes - in fact, they opened up the World of knowledge and understanding to me.
With perfection in the use of Braille letters, characters and symbols, I was able to handle all the different subjects in class. Indeed, Braille helped me to overcome all the barriers and difficulties in learning.
With the help of Braille and Audio Devices, I was able to jot down my lesson notes, write articles, solve mathematical problems, and even compose my own poem. My efforts would not be wasted because I had learnt how to save all my documents on the computer.
Braille played a further important role in my life by enabling me to read books and magazines, thereby expanding my knowledge in Science and technology, my understanding of culture, my skills in using language and my ability to entertain. Indeed, the Braille lines were most useful and very practical for me in leading a normal life.
In the early years when I was in integrated school where I learnt with sighted children, I did not have any textbooks or reading materials. Braille was the only tool I had along with my desire to study and grow. A question often came to my mind: "How can I prove my ability to myself in particular and to other blind people as well as their families and friends and to all our teachers?"
This made me decide that I should save up the money my parents gave me for breakfast. I would use this money to hire someone to read my textbooks to me. In spite of my efforts, however, I found that English was the most difficult subject to deal with. I had to Braille each letter first and then join them into words. Learning to write the language was real hard work.
Then came Reading - it was very difficult for me. Fortunately for me, I had learnt to master the computer and this was a great help to me in solving my problems. With the support of screen-reader software such as JAWS and NDC, I was able to gain access to reading materials and I could type and edit various texts.
Besides, Internet connection brought me a lot of benefits. Not only could I find information and materials to help me in my learning but I could do all my exercises, print them and hand them to the teacher.
Indeed, being able to keep in close touch with my activities was greatly enhanced with the help of Audio Devices. In fact, they were like my second eye as they enabled me to deal with the challenges of daily living more easily. The computer, in particular, became increasingly meaningful in my life. Yes, my three companions - Braille, the Computer and Audio Devices - always travelled along with me on my way to conquer knowledge.
Thus, during the ten years of my life in integrated education, I was able to demonstrate my ability to my sighted class-mates and to other students in the school. At first I was known as "A Good Student" and later achieved the title of "Excellent Student". I took part in the activities of my class and my school and became an outstanding member in the Youth Union.
At present, while studying in school, I am taking advantage of my free time to learn Massage in the Association for the Blind. Not only would this income help to improve my living standard but it would also enable me to realise my cherished dream of going to University.
Whether in school or in society, Braille and Audio Devices have really changed my life. They have helped me to break down the barriers of discrimination so that I am able to integrate into the community. It is a very meaningful gift that has been given to me by my family, relatives and my Blind Association. I shall always be grateful and appreciate this precious gift.
I believe that when Braille and Audio Devices are available to all blind people in the World, the light will shine towards a better future as it has done for me and other blind persons in Vietnam.