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Russia - There are more than two thousand blind students in Russia. How they live and learn

Russia (, - According to experts, more than two thousand students live in our country today. How do blind students take the exam? Can they go to universities? What is taught in schools for the visually impaired? How to learn if you can't see anything? I talked about this with the TV commentator, head of the federal program "Special Look" Ksenia Dmitrieva and student of one of the capital's universities Alexandra Pasechnik.

The match between Russia and Canada started an hour later

In my opinion, a blind person on his own can not do anything, even talk on the phone. Try to close your eyes and answer a call or blindly dial a number. I missed. But young blind people are special people. They know how to live on an equal basis with everyone. They maintain accounts on social networks, communicate with peers, take the exam, go to universities, work and do not consider their life a heroic deed.

Alexandra Pasechnik is absolutely blind. Sasha is a 3rd year student of the Faculty of Foreign Languages ​​of the Moscow City Pedagogical University. We talk to her on the phone. Sasha's voice is light, his character is sociable. I ask, was it difficult to enter? Sasha laughs and says that you just had to learn everything, remember and pass it.

- Do you have an incredible memory? - It's hard for me to imagine how to memorize everything by ear, even if you "read a lot in Braille".

- Remembering everything is not realistic, in some ways I was just lucky, - says Sasha. - I took the exam, like all graduates. True, the time of delivery is increased for us, it takes longer to write in Braille than with a pen on paper. At the exam I was given a booklet prepared in advance (the texts of the assignments, "translated" into Braille - ed.), The answers had to be written down with a pencil in another notebook. In August, I found out that I had entered.

I ask Sasha, is it difficult to study? Even if you have a program that translates text into audio format, and even if some textbooks are translated into Braille, how to learn Latin, English, French? How to learn to read letters and their combinations if you can't see them?

“I have a text-to-speech program on my computer, it reads, but in order to learn new words, you still need to look at the symbols,” Sasha agrees. - I learned English with a speaking program and a Braille display, but, unfortunately, it has served its term. Now my second language is French, the language is new, its structure is not familiar to me, letters and their combinations are read differently. I don't have any Braille.

And here people come to the rescue.

“My classmates and I help each other,” says Alexandra. - If you need any help with your homework, I can help, if I can't find something, they will help me. We also have good relations with teachers, they will always support them. True, at first, it happened differently. For example, you need to make a presentation: inserting a logo and making a beautiful presentation without vision is difficult. A blind person will spend much more time on its design than a sighted person. I tried to make them myself, but it didn't work out well, so I ask my friends or my sister to help.

And what about exams and tests? Dragging a ticket and filming it on your phone for the program to sound? Sasha likes my clumsy assumptions, but in reality she is sent questions by e-mail or the teacher reads the questions out loud. Wow, life is equal! You and I can write a "spur" and use it on occasion, and Sasha must be constantly ready for anything, no cheat sheets and cheat sheets from a smartphone, everything is fair.

Awkwardly, I ask a girl full of strength and energy if she can move herself. “It's easy,” Sasha says. “I am well versed in space. help the camera on your phone, though it's honestly easier to ask. "

To give a child a white cane and put him out on the street to master the world - I certainly would not be able to. And would deprive the child of a normal life. Sasha's mother was also very worried for a long time, but in the end, she realized that it was impossible to drive by the handle all the time and let her go.

- In high school, I started to ride myself, - says Sasha. - When I lived in the suburbs, the road took an hour and a half. At first it was difficult to communicate with people, I was worried that it was inconvenient to jerk a person, distract him and ask something, but that quickly passed.

I can hear Sasha smiling. Okay, then what? Sasha says she hopes to find a job in her specialty and work. While I mumble something vague about personal life and, in general, about life, Sasha has already understood what I want to ask.“Oh, I have a young man, and in general I live the ordinary life of an ordinary student,” the girl says. “I come from lectures, cook dinner, relax, watch a video or read a book.” - Uh-uh, in the sense of "looking" ... - I hum again. - "Well, yes, we blind people do not say:" listen to a video "," listen to a book. " to different channels in Telegram, I read, correspond, communicate. Also with the help of a special program that converts text to speech. In general, if anything, write to me in any messenger, I will definitely answer. "


Typhlo commentator Ksenia Dmitrieva, head of the Special Look charity program (engaged in the development of an accessible environment for blind people), came up with the Invisible Performances project several years ago. Thousands of blind children were able to "watch" these performances. Ksenia told what difficulties a blind child faces in the first grade of school and in the first year of the university.

Ksenia, why are there tactile tiles on the city streets, "signs in Braille", but people with a white cane are not visible? Do schools teach you about orientation in space?

Ksenia Dmitrieva: There are about 100 schools in Russia for blind and visually impaired children. These are schools of a mixed type, that is, totally blind children study with children with various vision problems. The schools have specialized classes, including spatial orientation. But since today there are no GOSTs for educational programs, in each school in these classes something different can happen. Somewhere during these hours they can play chess, somewhere they can study everyday moments. As a result, a blind child, becoming an adult, leaves school and does not know how to move independently. Another problem is overprotective parents. Worried about the child, they do not let him move independently. And when a child finishes school, he does not know any routes or triggers that help to navigate the city - how to determine the color of a traffic light, how to understand which way cars are going, etc. And one more problem, people who lost their eyesight as adults. It is even more difficult here, they do not want to take a white cane, because they do not want to associate themselves with a disability.

What should be done to get blind people to take to the streets?

Ksenia Dmitrieva: To begin with, there must be a correct education system that will allow blind people to learn how to navigate in the city and in the country. You need to know the nuances that will allow a person to move on any transport. A blind person should not only be able to use a white cane, but also know the logistics route. In our country, there is a program "Accessible Environment", which allows you to provide the city with tactile tiles, and ramps, and Braille signs. A big plus is a modern navigation system, programs that are installed in gadgets. But tactile tiles, signs on offices and the Smart City system (an application that tracks buses, thanks to which a blind person can catch the bus he needs at a bus stop) are not enough. For all this to work, it is necessary for a blind person to know what, for example, oblique or straight lines, dots on tactile tiles mean, to be able to use the application, to know where the braille plates may be located. In our country, these plates are not always installed correctly, it can hang under glass or upside down, because, unfortunately, the contractors did not check the installation information. Such errors are still encountered quite often.

What problems can a blind school graduate face when taking the Unified State Exam?

Ksenia Dmitrieva: All examination materials must be adapted to Braille. If tasks with pictures and it is difficult to adapt them, then they are replaced. On the exam, on a special paper with an awl using the Braille system, the student writes the answers. After that, this document, together with the standard exam form, is handed over in an envelope. The envelopes go to special institutions, a day is allocated when specialists, typhlo-teachers come and under the camera in a special room "translate" Braille into Russian, English or mathematics. And here a problem arises, which blind people often complain about - when rewriting, the tiflo-teacher made a mistake, very often this happens on language exams.

Suppose a blind graduate becomes a student, what obstacles await him in universities? Ksenia Dmitrieva: More often than not, teachers and university staff do not know how to properly adapt programs for blind people. They may have some theoretical knowledge on this subject, but the systematic approach has not been worked out. Then a blind person must explain how to communicate with him correctly and conduct classes. For example, if there is a lecture and the teacher is writing something on the blackboard, a blind student should ask the teacher to comment on the recording. Another problem is the lack of adapted textbooks for a blind person. Of course, the electronic version of the book is more convenient than the printed one in Braille. If students can take a textbook from a library or buy, find this book online, then a blind person is already in a situation not on an equal footing, because not all textbooks are adapted, not all are transferred to audio tracks. And we are now talking about Russian-language publications.

If a person is learning languages, the situation is even more complicated. Not all screen readers that help the blind use a computer, translate visuals (buttons, texts) into sound, are able to read the language correctly. For example, in Latin letters and combinations are read in one way, in English in another way, in French in a third way. And the only way to learn a language is the Braille display, a special device that connects to a computer and can display all data about words with the help of six dots. And the student, in fact, reads with his hands. But the display is expensive, about 200 thousand rubles. There are several precedents when the device was issued by libraries for the blind or resource training centers. Today not a single university can boast of the required amount of technical means of rehabilitation. This does not mean that all universities in the country need to buy displays and printers. It would be more correct if the resource educational and methodological centers provided the student with the necessary equipment for the period of study. Today we have such a practice, but, unfortunately, there are not enough displays for everyone. In the middle of the year, we monitored all resource educational and methodological centers, it turned out that there are only 36 Braille displays throughout the country, despite the fact that there are more than two thousand blind students.

By the way

There are many active blind people who live on an equal footing, on which a sighted person can orient himself. "My name is Vladimir Vaskevich, I am 27 years old and more than anything else I love to travel. But I do it, unlike many, with my eyes closed. In short, I am blind." This is how Vladimir's video project about his trip to Russia "Wherever the eyes do not look" begins. I've already told about the blind tourist . Vladimir graduated from Mechanics and Mathematics, knows how to sail a yacht, traveled around Europe, visited the Caribbean Islands, read lectures, leads master classes, wrote and published the book "Travel without Borders", got married, in a word, he lives with all his might and enjoys life, despite his disability Group I and complete lack of vision (in infancy Volodya was diagnosed with retinal cancer).

Russia - There are more than two thousand blind students in Russia. How they live and learn