Open Your Eyes For Those Who Cannot

Have you been complaining lately about all the work you need to do for university? All the essays you need to write, articles to read and talks to give? Well, I have. Until I realized that sometimes I am too trapped in my everyday life to see how lucky I really am. Lucky, because I have the possibility to study in a foreign country. Lucky, because I know I’ll manage the workload easily. Lucky, because I can see.

After today’s lecture in “Writing for New Media” I decided to stop complaining about things like these. In this world, there are around 37 million totally blind people. Many of them go to university, write essays like I do, read articles and give talks. Little things I do in my daily life without even thinking about how they can present great challenges for others – and I am the one worrying?

“How new technology helps blind people explore the world”

In her amazing TED talk, Chieko Asakawa, who has been blind since the age of 14, opens her world to those who can see. She is a strong and inspiring woman who does not let fate take its course: By inventing new technology, she wants to make the visually impaired more independent. It is just incredible to see everything that is possible in this area today!

Accessibility is not only a theoretical concept. It is a vital ingredient for every dinner in the dark. It has never been so easy for blind people to get around, in the physical and the digital world. Still, things need to improve. I think that by being aware of their needs and making the little effort to consider accessibility while creating online content everyone of us can contribute to a bigger picture.

Placeholder Image

Smartphones, laptops and co. facilitate life for the visually impaired enormously

Image Sources: pixabay.com, wordpress template pictures

Advertisements

Giving A Talk In A Foreign Language – To Fear Or Not To Fear?

My heart is thumping, my legs are shaking nervously. I can feel the adrenaline rushing through my whole body. Just a few more minutes to go. A last quick revision of my notes. It is time to accept my fate. I approach the podium and wish myself to a place far, far away.

Okay, full stop. What is happening?

Over the last few years and weeks, I’ve had countless situations where I had to stand at the front and, hello Erasmus life, speak in languages that were not my native tongue. Double trouble? Well, it is definitely time for some reflection on something I can’t run away from. And I wouldn’t want to.

Because, as Kelly Clarkson knows, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I have been thinking a lot about where this nervousness may come from.

  • Is it my language skills? No. I have reached a point where I feel perfectly comfortable using and switching spontaneously between Spanish and English.
  • Is it the fear of saying something wrong or not being good enough? Maybe. I mean, of course I want to do my best and the high expectations I have of myself definitely put more pressure on it.
  • Is it the other people that make me nervous? That could be it. But why? Especially in the university we are all in the same boat and can usually expect moral support from each other.

Basically, there are no problems. University is the best place to practise speaking skills, because we will never be so protected. Knowing how to present yourself and foreign content in a professional, relaxed and appealing way is vital for our future careers. So why not use the chances we are given instead of trying to avoid them?

obama-speech

HE has a reason to be nervous.

Images: pixabay.com