EBU(Junior Group) Fine Work
Life with Braille
Russia Olga Aleksandrova (11/Female)
My name is Olga Aleksandrova. I live in a small town named Novosokolniki in Pskov region. I am already 11 years old but I am only in the second grade. It just happened that I started school at the age of 10.I have had very low vision since birth. My mother, Nina Vladimirovna Aleksandrova, put me in the public school when I was 7 years old, and I couldn’t study there. Nobody was writing for me in large print. Teachers didn’t know how to teach me to write, to read, to do mathematics, to introduce the world around me. The school in Novosokolniki was not a school for visually impaired children.
Sometime later my mother brought me to Saint-Petersburg for eye treatment. The result was not very good. Doctors recognized me as a completely blind child. Both for me and my mother it seemed like a final verdict.Soon my mother found out that there was a school for children like me. However I would have needed more than six hours on the road and two buses to get to that school. We decided that we needed to live in Pskov. So, only at the age of 10 years old I entered the specialized school N7 of Pskov city for children with a visual disability.
Study was hard for me. It was very difficult to recognize letters by using my fingertips. I had to develop my hands’ sensitivity and managed to do that. Now, thanks to our kind and patient teachers, I am able to read and write using Braille. The world changed for me, and a new one opened. I have special textbooks, I learn everything together with other children. Teachers sometimes make special cards with different tasks for me. Now I can read fairy-tales and stories, read and learn poems by heart. I can learn a lot because of reading. I also can do sums. I like to listen to music very much. The Braille system will help me to learn music notation.
I have already read many interesting books.My favorite ones are “Bamby”, “Fairy-tales of a Blue Fairy”, “Mio my Mio”, “Animals of the Zoo”, “Sold Laughter’, “Children of the Blue Flamingo”, “Tsvetik-semitsvetik”, “White Poodle” and many others. It is so wonderful that I know the Braille system! Thanks to Braille I can learn so many new things about my favorite poet Alexander Pushkin, as well as about many other poets, scientists and artists, about Earth and other planets, about stars. I can learn new things about history of my own country and Pskov region. I can learn about anything I ever wanted. Now I feel that I am a normal girl who can grow. I am able to find the information I need in any book by myself.
Here in Pskov city there is a specialized library for blind and visually impaired people. There are many books there printed in Braille. Recently there has been a regional Braille contest in our city, and I took honorable first place in it.I have been awarded with a certificate and prizes. My mother, my teacher and my schoolmates together with friends were all very happy for me.
Louis Braille did a lot for all people all over the world. I am very grateful to him for that!