WBU-AP(Senior group) Fine Work
How Braille And Audio Devices Are Helping Me To Lead A Normal Life
Myanmar Dwe Ra (43/female)

When I became blind, I felt that there was no more hope for me in life. It seemed as though the train had left me behind while others were going on a beautiful journey to a place of promise, joy and abundance. I could hear the deep hohn blowing and I saw the train leaving, slowly at first, then gradually faster and faster until it disappeared out of sight, and I was left all alone with nothing and with no one at all who cared for me. Oh God, why couldn't I catch the train - oh, why must I be blind? Fame, success and all the wonderful things in life had left me and gone with the train. I felt abandoned and all alone living in distress because I was a burden to society, and I was no use to anyone.

One day, however, I suddenly noticed that a new idea was taking place in my brain. I gradually began to reapise that there was a turning point in life and that there were two roads along which we could choose to travel. One of the roads turned downwards and it was dry, hard, stony and full of rocks. There were no birds singing and not a single plant or tree was in sight. Journeying down this road, one would meet with all kinds of accidents and one would have to face plenty of disasters, both natural and unnatural. One would suffer from disability and pain and the body would be broken and left without any hope or consolation.

If the road turning upwards were chosen, one would be lifted to a much better position or to a higher plain where cool breezes will be blowing, green leaves, tender shoots and fruits will be growing everywhere, and birds will be flying high in the sky singing of hope, joy and life in abundance.

Fortunately, I became aware that the opportunity was in my way - I saw the turning point where one road went downwards and the other road turned upwards. The downward road was begging me to follow but I resisted and decided to climb the upward road. The journey was difficult at first but gradually I felt much happier and I noticed a wonderful sense of freedom and independence growing within me. No longer did I feel like a poor forsaken beggar sitting by the wayside and begging for help from other people.

Braille was introduced to me so that I could learn how to read and write by using the dot system. Indeed, I felt a great change in my life and I found that a new light was shining through. With this light, I was able to "see" the way in helping me to overcome the many problems, difficulties and challenges that confronted me. The shining light enabled me to keep abreast with the normal people travelling along the same journey. I was now able to be on my own but I no longer felt that I was alone. I looked forward with hope and excitement as my dreams were now coming true.

With Braille, my everyday life was becoming easier and I began to enjoy many benefits. Indeed, Braille served as my eyes, my hands and my legs - it was like a very precious jewel to me. It became the bridge of communication for me and other people. I was able to read and write so that I could gain much knowledge and information and this gave me a better understanding of the things around and within me, thereby enabling me to make the important decisions in my life. I gained much inspiration from reading about blind people who became rich and successful because they had chosen the upward turning path.

I discovered that there were many audio devices which could help me in leading a normal life. For example, the talking watch could tell me the time just by pressing a button and it could wake me up early in the morning by its alarm signal. Thus, I was able to wake up in time and be early for work.

The radio made life very beautiful and pleasant for me. It introduced me to many kinds of songs and music - the tunes of pop songs stirring my emotions while the classical pieces soothed my soul. I felt like a new person and I wanted to jump and dance for joy.

I was able to learn about foreign people and their different cultures, languages and way of life. I found it to be very interesting listening to the different sounds of languages. Indeed, I learned about so many things that I had never known before.

Another useful device was the talking dictionary. Before I owned this equipment I had no way of finding out the meaning of English words that I could not comprehend. Now I am able to learn the meaning of all kinds of English words that I did not understand before. I want to show other blind people the importance and usefulness of having one's own talking dictionary.

The computer with ICT software was another useful tool for communication. It enabled me to get in touch with not only blind people but also those who were sighted as well. Not only could I perform the same tasks as normal people but I could also carry out my work at a much faster pace. I am truly thankful for Braille and for audio devices, both of which have helped and enabled me to lead a normal life of independence and freedom - a life that is productive and is meaningful.


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