ABU(Junior Group) Fine Work
The Audiovisual Media As A “Light”
Sri Lanka Ruchira Seneviratne (23/Female)

Modern media has indeed achieved the status of a light that illuminate the minds of those whose eyes have no sight.

For a moment let’s take a look at the lengthy period of time from the prehistoric ages to the 21st century. In the ancient times, messages were exchanged among people through primary communication methods like, a crier with a drum, shooting arrows, making drawings on trees and hooting.

But today, man has improved his knowledge and consequently developed many advanced methods of communication. You could get a view of the whole world at a glance.

Modern media can be divided into two parts: namely, visual media and audio media.

First let us try to analyze visual media. Newspapers, books, television as well as the computer can be identified as visual media. To a certain extent visual media is disadvantageous to blind persons because of their lack of sight. But the Braille system invented by the brilliant Louis Braille, who himself lost his sight while still a toddler is a marvelous gift to blind people for all posterity. Books were printed in Braille, and thus blind persons were able to go through education even to the highest levels and get to know the world from their finger tips.

Audio media is much more closer to blind people. Specially the radio was the most important and convenient media for them for decades. Through this media they could have access to all local and foreign information within minutes.

This media also helps to enrich the knowledge of blind people as well as the ordinary people. It has also provided a solution to the unemployment problem of the blind community. At present blind persons have acquired employment in various fields such as: announcing, singing, writing etc. the media further helps these persons by bringing them to the lime light, and thus giving them the incentive to develop their skills and bring out more and more novel creations.

Specially in the field of singing, the media organizes numerous competitions where the blind youth are able to compete alongside the normal youth and even emerge as stars. Thus blind persons are also able to be of service to the society in the field of art. I wish to mention here about our own Miss Mekala Gamage, who has been able to win the hearts of many people with her melodious singing, regardless of her impairment. We also applaud singers like Steve Wonder who is world famous, though blind, - to mention just one out of many. Not only vocalists, but there are also the blind persons who are good at various instruments like the piano, organ, violin, flute etc, to gather around to enrich the field of arts.

The computer can be described as the most powerful visual media that has been created by the progress of technology. This marvelous creation of man specially with the addition of the “speech software” has opened up facilities beyond imagination in the field of communication to the blind community. It’s indeed a great asset to blind persons in operating side by side with others in the mainstream society. This has also contributed immensely towards the solving of the unemployment problem of the blind community and provided the opportunity for them to leave their homes and step out into the world.

Today there are many blind persons employed as computer operators. With the help of the speech software blind people are able to explore the internet, listen to books, newspapers, films online, write documents, send and receive e-mails, go to Facebook/ Twitter, join in chat rooms ….. just like any other normal persons. Consequently blind persons have been able to build up international relations, which has resulted in a constant flow of aid to the blind people, both financially and materially. This in turn has started giving an economical boost to lives of blind persons here at home. Thus a well educated generation of blind persons in the future will be an inevitable factor. Though first created as an equipment of visual media, the computer is now more or less an audio- visual media.

The mobile telephone too could be identified as a part of social media. Although this equipment is greatly helpful to anybody in general, in communication, its usefulness to blind people is much more pronounced. Dependability and limited mobility are a compulsory part of the lives of blind persons. Thus a mobile phone is an invaluable asset in keeping relationships and reaching the required persons in emergencies for blind persons. Here again, the facility of speech helps blind persons to make full use of a mobile phone. With this facility it is possible to send short messages, read the received texts, check missed calls and do so many other things that the equipment is capable of. In fact, for a blind person to carry a well functioning mobile phone is like having a willing companion with him.

I cannot deny the fact that most media has its unfavourable consequences and unhealthy tendencies. But as a blind person and a student, I know quite well how social media is. I also know that I can control the media equipment and they can’t control me.


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