CAMAGÜEY. - Ilienis walks without a cane and without glasses, feels that she does not need them, and the one who sees her moving upstairs up to her classroom in the fourth floor of the mixed center Máximo Gómez Báez, of Camagüey, without holding neither of anything or of anybody, it is difficult that he could imagine that this girl of only 16 years is a totally blind woman.

“My life does not have anything special, of course, I have a very good family that supports me in everything, who is always there to get me up if I fall down”, she says categorically.

But although she affirms it, her story is not a current one, not because the blindness received her on having come to the world, but because she has overcome the difficulties and at present she is one of two totally blind women who for the first time begin pre-university studies in the province.


The provincial center of pupils with sensory shortcoming Antonio Suárez Domínguez known as the school of Tagarro, was the only place where there were studying pupils with visual or auditory lacks from the kindergarten up to the secondary school. For approximately five years, the educational inclusion process gave the possibility to the families of these boys of registering them in the general education in any of its levels.

At first, it was very difficult for all, the family, the teachers who assumed the challenge of learning to teach students with these shortcomings, and especially for the pupils.

Witness of that change was Ilienis Morales Jiménez. “It was sudden and difficult, my classroom in the primary school had six pupils and on having come to the secondary school, there were 30, nothing similar to the previous one. I did not know anybody, only my cousin. I felt that they were indifferent with me; they all were walking with their people. It did not turn out to be easy to insert me because I am a little shy.

“For the teachers, it was uncomfortable, they had not had a similar experience and they approached me and said to me: ‘and now what am I going to do with you, how do I evaluate you?’; this was their principal worry, but later they adapted themselves, they done many oral evaluations to me, and Odalys, which was my support teacher, she helped me to transcribe my evaluations of the Braille system to normal writing. Thanks to their dedication I am today in the pre-university school.

“I went out well, I got more than 95 points in all the subjects except in Chemistry, which is complicated by the formulae. The Mathematics also gives me headaches because it is necessary to do calculations and it can be messy with my slate, which is with what I write, because my Braille machine is broken since I was in 7mo. grade.

“With the machine, it would be easier, to do a letter only you press a key, but with the slate to do the letter I have to go point by point up to shaping it. In addition to that, with the machine, I can read what I am writing and with the slate, I have to extract the sheet to be able to do it.

“The machines are very expensive and because of the blockade they cannot be bought in the United States, which is very bad because if not each of us could have them, in addition to the paper, that is gummed and is the best to be able to do the geometry”.


Tamara Robles Wambrug, director of the unit where at present it studies Ilienis 10mo. grade, counts that the news that they would receive a totally blind woman was surprising to all. “Really we did not know how to face this situation, many things were worrying me. I am also her teacher, I teach her Chemistry. She is a very good pupil, she could have limitations with a machine, but she receives with a lot of rapidity and she is agile writing. One is surprised that frequently is more concentrated on the class that the rest of the pupils”.

In the school, they all speak well about her, both partners of studies and teachers. Isidoro Benito Soler, her teacher of Physics, says that it is a completely unprecedented experience in all his years as a teacher; nevertheless he makes sure that “she is very worried, disciplined and is not an absentee student”.

Dunia Agramonte Herrera is the teacher of support that assigned the provincial center of pupils with sensory shortcoming to attend Ilienis this course and to advise in the system Braille the educators who teach her. She affirms, “The arrival of Ilienis to the pre-university school has been an impact of sensibility, of reception, of inclusion, that it is what it is wanted, and for what we work from the center of support.

“The process of educational inclusion in almost all the cases has given very good results. It is necessary to keep on being employed at the preparation of the teaching personnel of the general education, because their training is essential for the success of this program; also it is necessary to perfect the studies continuity when they end 9no. grade. There are few options from which the blind children can choose”.

This girl, who while we talk smiles discreetly and seizes the hands to hide her shyness, a few minutes before our conversation we saw her singing with very much self-assurance in front of tens students in the square of the flags of the well-known IPVC of Camagüey.

“I did not want to enter the artistic brigade because I was ashamed, and in the classroom they all were asking me that I should sing. One day they stretched a pitfall to me, asked me to do it and I began without knowing that behind me there was the music teacher. I love especially the ballads and pop.

“Since I arrived here quite everything that has happened to me there are good things, I have told it to my mom, that in the secondary school, I was fine, but here I am better, I like very much. Since I entered here, they all treated me well. I already have very good friends.

“In this school, I have never felt excluded, but I have felt that way in other moments of my life. It happens sometimes that there are persons who do not want to hurt you, but as there are things that they can do and I cannot, they leave you out of the group, they exclude you, and that makes you feel bad”.

- What would you like to study in the future?

- I would like to be a physiotherapist, because these persons help to rehabilitate others that cannot walk or have another problem. They can teach them that although they are disabled they are not different from the others.

Her words were a judgment, without doubts a life lesson.