Webster Uzbekistan Student Presents TEDx Talk on Disability Issues

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Watch Bobobek Khalilov's TEDx talk, "Voices of the Silent," about living with disabilities.

Bobobek Khalilov, a freshman at Webster University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, has finished his first year of college by participating in TEDxYouth@TKA as a speaker, which took place on March 15, in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. In his talk titled "Voices of the Silent," Khalilov spoke about his experiences as a young Uzbek citizen with complete hearing loss. 

Khalilov explained that the goal of the talk was "to help other people to break the silence, to bring up the awareness of abled and disabled people and to build environmental accessibilities for people regardless of their abilities or disabilities."

As an activist for disabled people and their rights, Khalilov decided to participate in the TEDx event to share his diverse experiences. "During my life, I have immersed myself into non-disabled and disabled communities and cultures both in Uzbekistan and the USA," said Khalilov. "To my surprise, there is no big difference between these people. Even though people may be disabled physically, but their inner human spirits are as same as non-disabled people. I feel that the human spirit is the most powerful strength in all of us - to conquer challenges and difficulties of life regardless of our outward lack of abilities."

"When my turn came, once I stepped on the red circled carpet, my nervousness disappeared unnoticeably, and I was able to deliver my speech without being afraid of what people would think, make some pauses among my speech in order to allow the audience to be able to think and walk through the imagination of the speech," said Khalilov.

Khalilov has become inspired to continue this form of advocacy and awareness building, he has "set long-term goals of presenting myself as one of the speakers and delivering my ideas worth spreading at TEDx events."  Khalilov was nominated to participate in TEDxYouth@TKA back in August 2019.

Khalilov said that the chance to participate in this event gave him valuable new connections, "[in] 6 months, we have come a long way. From an idea to an event, from a lone person to a bonded team, from nothing to everything. That is what TEDx is all about – ideas and actions change the world."

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