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My Voice Counts! - TRANSCRIPT

0:00 [title: Internet Society - 20 years]
0:04 The fall of the Soviet Union brought with it hard times for blind and visually impaired people across Armenia.
0:12 The support systems they had long relied on were no longer in place.
0:18 [Piano Music begins][Sound of keys]
0:23 [Squeaky door]
0:30 This is the cultural house for the blind in Yerevan.
0:35 [sound of curtain]
0:38 The piano hall, theater, and many other rooms used to be full of people.
0:42 Now most are either rented or empty.
0:46 [accordion music]
0:58 Yura is the director of the Cultural House for Blind People.
1:03 He lost his vision when he was 21,
1:06 and knows how difficult it is to make opportunities for yourself.
1:12 [orchestral music]
1:14 Shortly after Armenia became independent Internet access became available.
1:22 The Internet made Yura feel like he was part of the world again.
1:27 Yura believes everyone should know this feeling.
1:33 [woman contralto singing]
1:36 [Yura speaking Armenian]
1:38 [Voiceover] "God, I ask you, listen to my words.
1:42 Our ancestors said: "It is better to be blind in our eyes than in our mind." "
1:50 Yura knows 2500 texts from memory.
1:54 He's an international master of chess,
1:56 and can play up to 40 people at once
2:00 from memory alone.
2:06 [piano music]
2:10 Albert and Yura have been friends for 37 years.
2:15 Albert is the author of over 100 works of literary and historical studies,
2:22 mainly devoted to little known pages of Armenian literature.
2:28 [piano music continues]
2:35 Albert started building schools and hospitals in 1968.
2:42 He believes that disability shouldn't be a barrier to helping others.
2:50 Like Yura he believes the Internet has opened up new opportunities for him.
2:59 He now uses it for his research in correcting inaccuracies in Armenian history.
3:07 [orchestral music]
3:10 The Internet enables people to be who they choose,
3:14 to develop for themselves, and as a part of their community.
3:21 [music ends]
3:23 According to the World Health Organization, there are 1 billion disabled people in the world.
3:32 80% of disabled people live in developing countries.
3:38 The Internet Society believes that the Internet enables everyone to be a part of society,
3:46 if the appropriate tools are available.
3:50 [piano music]
3:52 Thanks to the Internet Society, the Cultural House will now have Internet access,
3:58 software for blind and visually-impaired people, and
4:01 one less room will stand empty.
4:05 [piano music continues] [title: Internet Society - 20 Years]
4:11 [Albert] My voice counts!
4:15 [title: copyright James Morgan for the Internet Society]