Peeter Mõtus

While reading is not exactly like what you expect from blind people, if the text of the book is already in electronic form, it can be easily listened to. With the help of modern technology and specially developed software of course. For the past six years, Peter has been scanning and digitizing (paper) books so that people with visual impairments have access to professional scientific and fiction.

Peter is 62 years old and completely blind for the last 23 years. He lost his sight in one eye as a teenager in a car accident. It happened that he was on a bicycle and the police car (Milicia) hit him. The result is a retinal tear in the eye. With the second eye, Peter was able to study until the end of the 1980s (Tallinn Polytechnic Institute) and work as an electrical engineer. Then problems with that eye began to appear and vision gradually deteriorated despite the operations. He couldn't work as an engineer anymore. Peter came to work at Laki Street in Tallinn and started making hangers at a plastic factory. Until once, at work, he lifted a box that was too heavy, which caused a blood vessel to burst in the eye and detach the retina. This was followed by a series of operations that brought back vision for a while. A total of eight operations were performed on Peter's eye in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The last two of them were in Stockholm. Unfortunately he remains completely blind since 1994.

Peter has been a member of the North Estonian Blind Association since 1989. Peter believes that people with visual impairments need their own house. After Peter's partner left him eight years ago, Peter is single and essentially domestic. In the past, it was possible to see Peter at all kinds of events. Now he lives in a social house, orders goods online, goes to the library for fun. He didn't want a guide dog. She wouldn't have anything against the dog otherwise, but she has to go out with the dog. But then you become accountable for 2 beings, which is too much responsibility. Peter doesn't like being addicted or asking for help.

Peter scans the books so that they can be listened to instead of reading. The paper book is being scanned page by page. OCR turns the picture files it into electronic text. The same time it corrects errors in the text. So simple the book is digitized. Special software can read it then. Peter started scanning books like this for his own use years ago. Then other visually impaired people expressed a desire to listen to the books. Like this Peter started to get paid job he had been doing fo free for six years. Although the volume of work has decreased significantly in recent years, he has still for about 60 books orders per year. Some work and an extra money. Peter has scanned many special literature, including textbooks for masseurs, and esoteric literature. Peter himself reads about 15 books a month. "Just for fun" - after all, he says. He loves science fiction the most. And music.

Story written December 2017