EBU(Junior Group) Fine Work
Braille Changes Your Life
Lithuania Edvinas Juraitis (23/Male)
I am one of a few people who have a complex disability: sight and movement. The world looks dull and grim to me because I cannot see what it really is. But, to my joy and the joy of other people like me, Braille was invented.
When I sit quietly and take a book in my hands, I feel how this book helps one to understand this world, to know the news. When reading, I feel stronger, because communicating with the healthy helps me understand I have a place under the sun, just like people who see well, move without inhibitions, and do not need a book in Braille, because they see the world as it really is.
When I went to the library a month ago, determined to learn foreign languages, I did not find the proper books. But I didn’t let that get me down and took what was available. I am very fond of reading books in Braille. When I touch the written words with my fingers, whether it’s a novel or a fairy tale, I am drawn into the era it describes, understand the characters, and emphasise with their situation. I think it is very important if you wish to become a writer. But, unfortunately as it is, not all desired books are available in Braille. More often than not, attractive books are written or recorded in an audio format by people with sight. I cannot read what is written by people who can see, because it is not better when I start reading and I stop. Besides, I understand better when I read with my fingers. I must acknowledge with regret that the choice of books in Braille is very limited. It is amazing that blind people who feel deprived or pushed aside by life can gain access to information with the help of only six dots.
Sometimes I need to prove to people that I am knowledgeable, capable, but the Braille script does not always help me to do that. I dream of bigger opportunities for Braille: magazines about cars, technologies. It’s not fair that people who can see are always ahead of me. Sometimes they hint that I’m trying to exceed the limits of my capabilities. I need to prove I’m not a nobody; I am a well-read, fully-fledged person who knows what he wants and how to achieve it. My weapon is knowledge, which I get by using Braille.
I have a dream burning in my heart. I dream that someone who will popularise Braille will appear. Or I would like to become that person. I’m slightly worried that the writing system for the blind may be forgotten, because it is gradually being replaced by audio books. I’m delighted I have the opportunity to go to the library and get a book written in Braille, a real book, not a small piece of plastic. Braille instils respect for written books, which audio books fail to do. It’s so much more pleasant when you can feel and internalise information, not hear only the cold voice of the narrator.
In these times, people have lost a number of skills because smart technologies are ruthlessly invading our lives. For the blind to lose their writing system would be too much.