WBU-AP(Junior Group) Fine work
How Braille And Audio Devices Are Helping Me To Lead A Normal Life
Myanmar Aye Chan Aung(22/Female)

I was not born as a blind person but I lost my eyesight when I was in my teens due to an accident. At the time, I felt very depressed and down-hearted as I thought I would never be able to lead a normal life again like other people. Fortunately for me, this idea of lost hope vanished with the wind when I came to know Braille and audio devices in my daily life. With the help of these tools, I managed to lead a normal life once more.

To be honest, I had never before heard of the word, "Braille" until I became a blind person. In fact, for the first two years after losing my sight, I only knew how to use audio devices. Neither me nor my family knew anything at all about Braille.

Then one day the news came to me like a sweet song on the wind - I heard from a friend about a special writing system of raised dots for the blind. She told me that I could learn to read and write Braille at a special school. My parents were greatly surprised and very happy at the same time with the news. They immediately decided that I should go to the school in Yangon as soon as possible.

I worked very hard and it took me only two weeks to become familiar with the Braille system. Since then, Braille has become one of the essential things to meet my needs in my daily life. I use Braille to take down lecture notes in class just like other normal students.

Thanks to Braille, I can keep my own diary like other people. I can write down my feelings, experiences, misfortunes, secrets and pleasures. I think my diary can keep my private thoughts more safely than the diaries of sighted people because most people around me have no knowledge of the dot system at all.

I am so happy that Braille has made it possible for me to enjoy reading not just my textbooks but all kinds of information and books as well. For example, I can read what I have written down for my studies. Then when I am free, I can read so many books and magazines. Indeed, Braille is a wonderful and convenient tool for me to use, especially when no sighted person is available to help me or even when my audio devices are out of order.

Actually, it was my brother who first made me realise that education was very important and that it was possible for a blind person to study. He introduced the audio approach to learning for me by showing me how school lessons could be recorded on cassette-tape. Then he explained to me that in this way I could gain access to knowledge and ideas. This discovery cheered me so wonderfully so that after a while, I even learned how to use the MP 3 and MP 4 player. As a result, I was able to do well in my studies by passing every examination with flying colours.

Audio devices also proved to be very helpful to me in my daily routines. I could tell the time simply by pressing a button on my talking-watch. With the talking calculator, I could help my mother in maintaining the home accounts and in managing the budget. The radio provided me with general knowledge and it also helped me to relax during my leisure hours.

Now I am holding a B.A. Degree in English from the University of Foreign Languages. With my language skills, I have been able to take part in the translation contests organised by an English-language magazine and I was often the winner in these contests.

In addition, I have become like an accountant in my mother's business. I help to ensure that the enterprise is in a healthy financial position and that it is profitable. I feel so much joy because my mother no longer thinks that I am a burden to the family. Now she has full trust and confidence in me and that I have the ability and talents to conttribute to the success of the business.

Truly, so many people do not understand how I can do things like a normal person. They do not know that Braille and audio devices are the real keys to my achievements and success. As for me, I regard them as being the architects of my life. They enable me to build up my self-confidence and to have a positive outlook in life. They help me to accept the fact that though I may be differently-abled, there is nothing that is impossible to be done if the mind is willing. Truly, they have made my life much easier and more pleasurable and they have enabled me to stand shoulder to shoulder with other normal people. Braille and audio devices have put power in my hands so that I can be a guiding star to others and a tower of strength for my family.

Oh, I am so appreciative of Louis Braille who, despite his blindness and suffering, put in so much effort to invent the six-dot Braille system which is so unbelievably simple and yet so complicated. I am so grateful that Braille together with audio devices have enabled me to lead a rich and fulfilling life. They are truly my two best friends and I will love them for ever from the bottom of my heart.


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