ABU (Junior group) Fine Work
"In the name of the Lord whom we can see by the heart's eyes"
Ali Akbar Salari (21, male, Iran)
In the world of today, different groups of people, with different needs and problems, are living. Every group has its own problems in continuation of their lives, development, occupation, income and earning a livelihood.
One of these groups is the visually impaired people. In my opinion, visually impaired persons are faced with a small problem which may cause them great disadvantages. We are apparently unable to see the world around us with its glorious and cheerful beauties. Maybe we can not see the sun which lights on us generously with its vital and hopeful rays everyday. And, maybe, we can not see the moon with its deep silence which makes our dark nights bright. But we can feel these all deep in our hearts. We can not see the face of each other, but we feel ourselves strongly, deep in our hearts.
In our society, visually impaired persons, wherever they are and in every stage of life they are, both among their families or out of it, they are facing experiences some of which are positive and constructive while some are negative and destructive.
All the children in childhood have a strong and mysterious desire for learning through experiencing their environment. Like the others, it is not enough for the blind child to know the trees only by the definitions. They like to touch it, hug it and climb it and even fall down from it, why not? Why should such a thing not happen? Why do not the blind children have the right to do it?
It is natural that all the parents want to protect their children. But when their children are blind, this protection goes beyond the normal limits, till the hands and feets of them are tied by the limitations and they are trapped in obligations and deprivations.
What is worst for a bird which can fly but is not permitted to? The restrictions the parents provide for their children in childhood, will cause them to hide themselves from the others in adolescence, and having low self-esteem. Unaware parents teach their children that they can not be like the other children, go to the parks and play with the same age children, and make friend with them just because they are blind and they can not see.
This belief will be formed within us that we can not do things properly, and in future the negative consequences will be more observed. While at the same age, the blind children are forced to leave the safe and accustomed environment of the house and face the new experiences both sweet and bitter at school. The results being achieved in the new environment depends on the behavior of the parents in the past at homes.
Lack of ability of the teachers and the coaches in interacting with the blind children and discovering their hidden abilities are some of the new challenges which they are faced with in this stage of life.
Education of the blind children is important from several aspects. First and the most important problem in their life is mobility and orientation. This lesson should be considered seriously and be taught exactly, because O&M is a factor that can be considered as the eyes for the visually impaired children, and with the help of it they will be able to enter the society and recognize their environment better. This factor also develops the potential abilities in them so that they are well motivated to follow their goals with a better self-esteem.
Lack of efficient attention to the education of the blind children in the society causes them to face more complicated problems later in their life. That is why most of them have serious problems in their jobs with the society or they are not engaged in more important jobs.
All these points prove that the education in the primary levels for the children with eye problems has a vital role in their life-time. If the sciences of psychology, philosophy and sociology be used in their education as well as havingsympathy and affection towards them, better results would be achieved.
I hope that one day, we shall find blind children besides other children being educated in dignity and equality.