Millions of online bloggers in and ‘netizens’ on the planet. Here’s one more joining you – my name is Bhavya Shah, and I belong to Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. I am completely blind due to incomprehensibly convoluted ophthalmological abnormalities (meaning complex eyesight problems :P), yet lead the ordinary fifteen year old life that anyone would.
Apart from the pleasantries though, you may know me personally, through online forums, mailing lists, social networking platforms, and via the infinite other virtual lands I inhabit. I like messing about with technologies, assistive, mainstream or whatever they may be, from Android to Windows (and its Phone variant) to Linux.
Being an open source enthusiast, I use the NVDA screen reader full-time as a means of accessing my computer which renders on-screen content as synthetic speech, taking in commands I issue as keyboard shortcuts. I enjoy debating, public speaking, playing music on my guitar and flute, singing along and a variety of other commonplace activities.
But how does a blog fit into the picture of a typical Indian teenager? Persons with disabilities are perceived uniquely by the society; inclusive environments and exclusionary attitudes, acceptance and denial, heartwarming encouragement and sympathetic reproach, all lining every corner of their journey in life. I often contemplate of how different an individual I might have been, without the realization of the necessity to display appreciation for diversity, without understanding the values of empathy and compassion, without knowing the individuality of every being.
As I prepare for the inevitable discrimination and misperceptions I must grapple with a few years down the wire in systems of higher education, in institutions of corporate professionals, in walks of life the average non-disabled person might consider beyond the capacity of a disabled individual, I often have thoughts, chains of them, reflections upon the future these present-day observations imply.
Allow me thus to acquaint you with my world – striving, struggling and succeeding (okay, I haven’t succeded in anything particular yet ;P) in this unpredictable journey across dimensions – Hiking Across Horizons!
Stay tuned for overly philosophized musings, techno tips and other absurd ramblings from me at bhavyashah125.wordpress.com!