Anton Semakov: Hello.

Artem Berman: Anton? Good afternoon.

Anton Semakov: Good afternoon.

Artem Berman: Well, my name is Artem. Nice to meet you.

Anton Semakov: Me too.

Artem Berman: I have three types of questions. I mean, the questionnaire is a set of questions. The first one is “I have never had a job”. The second one is “I was employed but I am not employed presently/ anymore”. The third questionnaire is “I am currently employed”. Well, or I am self-employed or work remotely, whatever, but I am currently employed. Which one are we going to use?

Anton Semakov: Well, I haven’t worked officially, but I was always glad to have a side job. So to say…

Artem Berman: Well, what is the variant… It turns out…

Anton Semakov: I have never worked officially.

Artem Berman: Official work is not the point. “I have never had a job” is not your case. My understanding is that you worked even if it was not officially. So, your variant…

Anton Semakov: Well, for myself…

Artem Berman: Well, for yourself. No problem. Well, we have two variants – “I am currently employed” or “I had work experience, I worked, but I am in between jobs now”. What’s our variant?

Anton Semakov: Well, my earnings are not stable.

Artem Berman: Well, for example, I am in between jobs, right?

Anton Semakov: Well, I am in between jobs.

Artem Berman: Well, yes, if your earnings are unstable, it turns out that you are in between jobs. Well, you are adverse to making money.

Anton Semakov: It depends on when the clients call and come, well, then I will have orders, and if they don’t call…

Artem Berman: I see. Is it something connected to a computer, right, and some kind of work?

Anton Semakov: And with a computer, digitizing video, digitizing photos, digitizing audio cassettes …

Artem Berman: Let’s … In principle, these questionnaires are very similar. However, since you do not go to work every day officially, then we will follow the questionnaire “I worked, but I am not employed presently”. However, indeed, it is difficult to say. The questionnaire “I am currently employed is also quite suitable for you. However, again, they are almost the same. The first 6 questions, there will be 21 questions, they are quite simple. Some of them will be, well, personal ones. You should answer only within your zone of comfort. Well, in sense that…

Anton Semakov: I see.

Artem Berman: If you feel uncomfortable to talk about something, you can say, “We will omit this topic / let’s take it to the next question”. That is, you say only that things that are comfortable for you to say. That is, we support your comfort. Well, I will ask your permission to use all the publications for science and for the site during the interview. That is, you can allow it or don’t allow it, or you can give a permission only for use it in the research, but not for the publication on the site and so on. That is, we …

Anton Semakov: Well, if I agreed, I knew what I did.

Artem Berman: Well, yes, it is logical.

Anton Semakov: Why not?

Artem Berman: It is logical. Yes, okay. Again, after our conversation, I will send you the audio, and as soon as I have the transcription, I will send it. At first, I think, I will have an English version of the interview within a week or two, and Russian version will be available after two or three weeks. The site is in English now, but I am planning to make it in Russian as well. I mean, this is …

Anton Semakov: Good.

Artem Berman: The next step. We will do it step by step. Several first questions are formal, so don’t be surprised. The first one, “Do you allow this interview to be used for research purposes?”

Anton Semakov: Well, yes, of course.

Artem Berman: The second one, “Do you allow this interview to be published on the website or in the book later?”

Anton Semakov: Yes, why not?

Artem Berman: The third question, “Would you like to use your real name or any pseudonym?”

Anton Semakov: Well, my understanding is that the action does not take place in Russia or in the CIS, then, in fact, I do not care about it.

Artem Berman: Well…

Anton Semakov: I do not mind.

Artem Berman: Well, then, no problem. Therefore, in fact, I came out of Ukraine. The site will also be in Russian. However, if you want to use some kind of pseudonym in future, just write it to me in Skype after I send you our interview.

Anton Semakov: Okay.

Artem Berman: The fourth question is “Your name”.

Anton Semakov: Anton.

Artem Berman: Well, and a surname.

Anton Semakov: Semakov.

Artem Berman: Excellent, okay, Anton Semakov. The fifth question is “Contact information” (either e-mail or phone number). You just send it to me on Skype so I can contact you. Okay? Well, e-mail is probably better, a phone number …

Anton Semakov: Good.

Artem Berman: Will not help. The sixth question is “How old are you?”

Anton Semakov: Twenty-five.

Artem Berman: The seventh one is “Gender”. Well, I guess, male.

Anton Semakov: Well.

Artem Berman: Okay, the eighth question, “Do you have a spouse, a partner, children?”

Anton Semakov: No, I do not.

Artem Berman: The next question, “Do you live alone, independently or with your parents and other relatives?”

Anton Semakov: Well, I live with my mother. I also lived with my sister some time ago.

Artem Berman: Again, I want to tell you at once. Our research will be qualitative, but not quantitative. I mean, the questions are supposed to be opened, so the more information you find it possible to share with me, the better it will be for the interview, because, well …

Anton Semakov: Well, that’s clear…

Artem Berman: Yes, the more interesting, the more information we will have. The eleventh question, again, you answer within the zone of your comfort, “What kind of health problem do you have?” What happened to you or what is your condition?

Anton Semakov: I have ICP. Well, the type when the upper part is in the usual condition, but legs do not have a balance.

Artem Berman: At what age were you diagnosed with this disease?

Anton Semakov: Probably, it was when I was one year and three or four months.

Artem Berman: That is enough early.

Anton Semakov: In general, it was from the birth…

Artem Berman: That is, it is an innate disease.

Anton Semakov: But nobody noticed. Well, it is rather acquired condition than an innate one. There were different things…

Artem Berman: Well, that is, it was possible to notice it early, and, in principle, it was early noticed. In my understanding, you were diagnosed when you were one year and four months, right?

Anton Semakov: Well, yes.

Artem Berman: Well, I have the following question. Since it was early enough to diagnose this condition, it is probably to be difficult for you to answer, “How did this disease affect your life in all its aspects- social, family, personal, and professional?”

Anton Semakov: Well, in fact, if you haven’t seen any variants, how can you answer? Yes, of course, that obviously affected, but on the other hand, at the age of 7, I had already walked by one hand.

Artem Berman: Okay.

Anton Semakov: I can go downstairs and upstairs, there are no problems.

Artem Berman: Okay.

Anton Semakov: The only problem is a small physical activity. As a result, the heart and the spine are not suited for heavy loads. Well, the heart is also beating faster.

Artem Berman: Okay. Got it. Well, health problems are obvious.

Anton Semakov: Well, they were not innate. This is already a consequence of the way of life.

Artem Berman: Okay. Clear. I understood you. The next question is “How were your social rehabilitation started, went on and what happened after that?” I mean, what was the process of returning or, in your case, integration into society? What or who helped you? What were the obstacles?

Anton Semakov: I do not even know how to answer this question. Since childhood, I had friends, well, in the courtyard, well, kids. And no one reacted somehow negative. For those who, well, who always played with me in my childhood, with me, well, I was also an ordinary child.

Artem Berman: Well, perceived you just the way you were.

Anton Semakov: Well, when I grew up, when I was about fifteen years old, little children began to focus on it more and more. When I was little, I do not remember that children made an accent that I couldn’t walk or something like this. However, actually, I couldn’t walk in my childhood. Well, just crawling.

Artem Berman: Got it. Well, in any case, let’s move to the next question about education. I mean, it is a stupid question, because you were diagnosed this condition in early childhood, and before it was diagnosed, you had no education. However, the question is “What kind of education did you have after it?”

Anton Semakov: None. I’ve only just started to speak when I was three years old.

Artem Berman: Okay. You started to speak when you were about three years old. Then you went to school. Was the school at home or was it …?

Anton Semakov: First, I visited the institution of preschool education. Well, that were lessons. It’s better to say that it was kindergarten at first. Since there was a default in the country, the kindergarten was closed. In order not to lose time, our parents sent us to a pre-school education institution. We were writing, reading, and learning the alphabet there… What else … English was, well, it was rather formal, such as “paste the picture in a notebook”, “learn the word”. No one explained us different aspects of rules such as using “does” and so on. We were six or seven years old. Then I went to school. We visited the school the first and the second year very often. I had classmates. That is, well, in fact, the first year I studied, well, almost at school, although I was listed to the homeschool. After the fourth grade, I moved to another school too. I studied at an ordinary school for ordinary children. That is, it is not a special school. What can I say more?

Artem Berman: Well, you finished it, and after that…?

Anton Semakov: I have senior secondary education.

Artem Berman: Did you continue to study? Did you enter any university and so on?

Anton Semakov: I did not enter the university, but I was offered to have remote lessons of algebra and Russian language. We had our own tasks, which we had to do. I was engaged in other things at that time. It was not that we didn’t want, we just got tired of it… After school, we wanted to do something, but nothing right was decided. We could be just cookers, so…

Artem Berman: Where do you live? In what city?

Anton Semakov: I live in the Urals, the city is …

Artem Berman: What? Can you repeat?

Anton Semakov: Sverdlovsk region.

Artem Berman: Okay, Sverdlovsk region. Well, my mother comes out from Sverdlovsk, that’s why I spent my childhood in Sverdlovsk. So, this region is familiar to me.

Anton Semakov: We also lived three months at home, and one month in Yekaterinburg.

Artem Berman: We are partly compatriots. Look, you’re still young enough. Are there any plans for education now? Taking into account the availability of the Internet and a large number of options for distance studying. Well, just lots of universities, where you can…

Anton Semakov: I do not find better variant than to be a self-taught person. I do not plan any formal education, but I learning to do something by myself is quite possible.

Artem Berman: Fine, got it. Accordingly, what kind of work do you do or would you like to do? How do you see or saw yourself in the professional setting? Well, you say that you digitize information now. Tell me more about this.

Anton Semakov: How will I say … Digitizing video cassettes, audio cassettes, and a film. Well, when it comes to the computer, I do what people ask… even reinstall Windows. Something like that.

Artem Berman: Have you ever had an official job? I mean, that you went to the office, well, more or less …

Anton Semakov: No, I was not even offered.

Artem Berman: Well, at home, remotely, but more or less long… Have you had such suggestions?

Anton Semakov: I was offered to make pens at home. The point is that you buy spare parts of pens, and send them then somehow later.
Then it is started to be said that they send you a flaw, and you cannot sell pens with a flaw and you cannot leave it for yourself. In general, I was offered to be an accountant or a programmer in my childhood. And that’s all. The bottom line is that you buy spare parts from handles at your own expense, collect them at home, and somehow later, there, you sell.

Artem Berman: Well, and what do you think about being an accountant or a programmer?

Anton Semakov: Well, before the 11th and in 11th form, I thought that I would study programming and everything would be fine. However, when I could programming, doesn’t do it justice, it’s more about writing scripts and classes for myself, yes… When I saw that I coped with that, and it worked somehow. I had it working, but not perfect. I realized that it was difficult for me. The problem was not that I did not understand, but that I didn’t know the syntax of English. It is necessary not only to know English but also to write correctly. Without any mistakes, well, ideally. I had a problem with English Syntax. Then it seemed that it was very difficult to change it. However, I write scripts for myself.

Artem Berman: Tell me about it. Firstly, programming is just one of those aspects, that was actual then and that is still actual now, and secondly – there are many remote sources, where you can learn the language of programming or some technologies. To develop in this direction. Even if it is not official, without any university, without any diploma. Anyway, do you have any plans?

Anton Semakov: I’ve been doing three-dimensional modeling for the third year already. I’m probably just tired of this for 10 years. Programming is not my case. We have seen what hand-held zoos are. I like it. It would be possible to work there, something like this.

Artem Berman: And do you mean any kind of home zoo? Home type, something like that?

Anton Semakov: I do not even know how to explain. It’s not in every city. It is basically located in big cities – Tyumen, Yekaterinburg.

Artem Berman: Just a private house where certain animals live, right?

Anton Semakov: Well, in general, it was a shop, a shopping center, where we were. I liked it. Not everyone is lucky with such work.

Artem Berman: Got it. However, it is interesting in any case. What do the members of your family – in your case it is a mom – think about your work? That you work or that you don’t work? Are you motivated to seek a job or are they neutral?

Anton Semakov: She does its utmost to support. She understands that it’s very difficult to find the work – one after another, after another. I’ll do what I have to do.

Artem Berman: That is, you definitely have her support. It is clear that there is a difficulty to find a job. But when you have it or when you are looking for it, family members act as motivation and an incentive, right?

Anton Semakov: Motivation and an incentive are when something is needed, but there is no money.

Artem Berman: Well, it’s logical, yes. We will talk about it a little, “Is your work related to your education?”

Anton Semakov: I believe that what I’ve learned – video editing, audio editing, 3D modeling, with the exception of programming, the basis of which was shown to me by one person, the school or something else doesn’t connect with anything.

Artem Berman: That is, there were no special courses, or all that you did you did by yourself, right?

Anton Semakov: There were Internet lessons.

Artem Berman: The question is, “Do you think that education as it is gives more opportunities in life, provides more prospects for life?”

Anton Semakov: In Tyumen – yes. In large cities – yes, of course. Well, in cities like ours … We are officially considered an urban type village. It seems it is not the city …

Artem Berman: An urban-type settlement.

Anton Semakov: What kind of education can you have in such small settlements … The best variant of work is to work through the Internet or to be a guard. I do not even know who asks about high education here.

Artem Berman: Fine. The question is, “It is clear that there are difficulties with health, and have you ever thought about changing your place of living?” Moving to Yekaterinburg, Tyumen.

Anton Semakov: Almost every moment of life. But you will look at the prices of housing and understand that the standard of living won’t be higher. Where to earn 2.5 million?

Artem Berman: Do you mean for buying an apartment? It is logical. Well, the next question, “How do you maintain your level in what you do?” In particular, video courses, books. How does the education run?

Anton Semakov: How? When you have been doing this for many years, some nuances are already becoming obvious. When you do this not alone and not for two years, you don’t need to look at any lessons. But it happens with Photoshop. If I do not understand something in Photoshop, I watch how to do it. However, I also have a good knowledge of photoshop.

Artem Berman: The question is, “Can you imagine the situation when you don’t work, that you don’t do anything else? What would be the consequences?»

Anton Semakov: I can afford it, but it’s wrong.

Artem Berman: Why is it wrong? What does work mean for you?

Anton Semakov: This, in fact, the others work for you, and you live thanks to them. I believe that if I had a regular job, I would still be working to some extent.

Artem Berman: Well, do you consider working for yourself as the moment of some kind of rehabilitation?

Anton Semakov: If only as a social communication.

Artem Berman: Got it, let’s go on, ” Do you have any financial support from the state?”

Anton Semakov: Well, yes.

Artem Berman: According to the Russian legislation, even if you worked, you would get a pension, right?

Anton Semakov: It used to be said that if you have a disability group I and if you work, then you could do the second group from the first group or even remove it. My understanding is that if you work, you are not indexed. That is, they pay, but it is not raised. But if you work officially, not on a private trader.

Artem Berman: What kind of problems and difficulties do you meet at your job? What is the most difficult?

Anton Semakov: Not all people probably understand this. I did not have this, but every time a person reacts. People are different. Someone does not react, but someone is surprised.

Artem Berman: We have the last two questions. The second question will be so creative, now it will be but an uncreative question. You cannot say figures, just tell me if it’s significant or not, whether it’s important or not. What percentage is your state’s assistance from the income? A significant percentage, a significant part of your income or not and still more – is your earnings and pensions not so important?

Anton Semakov: About 80 per cent.

Artem Berman: Well, a significan part.

Anton Semakov: Although I know that someone earns more, I don’t want to live off others.

А. Do you mean what you take as payment for your work?

Anton Semakov: Well, yes. Although, by the way, no one takes such amounts as me.

Artem Berman: Every work costs money. If you spend your time, it’s normal to take…

Anton Semakov: For digitizing video I take it as it should be taken, but when it comes to computers… to reinstall Windows… People usually take up to XXX. But it’s not my story.
Artem Berman: Well, it’s already your character, because on the other hand, if the market price is XXX, then this price is normal. This is your character.

Anton Semakov: I don’t take more than YYY rubles.

Artem Berman: This is your character.

Anton Semakov: If I did not have enough money, the situation would be different.

Artem Berman: That’s just the question about “enough-not enough”, “Are you satisfied with the current level of your income?”

Anton Semakov: In general, yes, but sometimes there are some nuances. For example, you have cats, and you need to spend money – to visit the veterinarian, for example. Then there are problems. There is no surplus at the moment, although there is not enough to say that there is also not the case.

Artem Berman: Are you rather satisfied?

Anton Semakov: Especially when you consider that people who work half that amount. Some of them. Not all, but, let’s say, a major part.

Artem Berman: I understand that this is connected with the general economic situation in Russia. Crisis and all these things.

Anton Semakov: No, no! I think it depends on the city. My sister lives in Tyumen now. The story is completely different.

Artem Berman: This, again, is the story of a small town with a small number of prospects, right?

Anton Semakov: All the factories are closed… I do not even know how to tell you …

Artem Berman: Tell me the truth. This is a small town, and the fact is that it is gradually dying.

Anton Semakov: And what we see here … Let’s say, for comparison. We have a communal payment of 7000-7500. It is 4000 in Tyumen.

Artem Berman: At the same time, the salary in Tyumen is probably an average salary is two or three times, or even five or ten times higher than in your town.

Anton Semakov: Well, not ten, but 2.5 times higher. At least 2.5 times.

Artem Berman: Then you need, in spite of all the difficulties, to think about moving. Being distracted, I broke my neck at the age of 16, I moved at 22, I also lived in a small town.

Anton Semakov: So to say, we are in shock … Damn, why do we have just one country, but we have lots of homeless people here? However, in fact, we are 1 hour from Tyumen. Why do they live like this, and we live like this? At the same time, prices for products are the same, and there are cheaper prices as well. That is, everything is exactly the same for basic services, but some things cannot be directly described.

Artem Berman: Well, I say, you really need to think about moving.

Anton Semakov: The same, say, the Internet. The Internet costs 100 MB 450 rubles, and here we have, for example, at a tariff of 30 MB – 600 rubles.

Anton Semakov: Yes, what can I say … Once again I can tell you, I broke my neck at the age of 16 and left my parents in Kiev at 22 years old. I lived with my girlfriend. It was hard, I rented an apartment, but I realized there was not much in the small town. However, have never regretted that I left.

Anton Semakov: When there were factories, lots of people came to our city. It was one of the important cities. Machine-building plant and hydrolysis. There is nothing of this now We even had our own mineral water.

Artem Berman: Got it. Once again, it’s your decision. I think your prospects are in Tyumen and Yekaterinburg – the nearest big cities. We almost finish of the interview. The last question is creative. I’ll start the phrase and ask you to continue it. Roughly speaking, some phrase, and you continue.

Anton Semakov: Let’s try.

Artem Berman: We only have six such statements. You can continue with one word, one sentence or story. It’s up to you. So, “I …”

Anton Semakov: I … What can I say to “I”?

Artem Berman: I do not know …

Anton Semakov: I do not know too…

Artem Berman: Well, people answer “I live”, someone responds “I’m weird”, someone – “I’m struggling”.

Anton Semakov: Well, like this?

Artem Berman: Yes. “I” and what comes first when you think about yourself.

Anton Semakov: I guess I do not think much of myself in this way. When people ask me what you do …

Artem Berman: No, “What do you do?” is another question. For example, I live, I fight, I survive, I am suffering, I am happy … I do not know …

Anton Semakov: I’m very pleased. Not what I am, but the state in which I live. However, it could be better.

Artem Berman: Fine. Another question is more to those who have been injured. Therefore, in your case it will be difficult to answer, we can omit the question, “Before the disease, I was injured …” Well, you were quite a child.

Anton Semakov: In the cradle. However, not even in a cradle. It was in a hospital.

Artem Berman: Yes, of course. The next question, “I can …” or “I am capable of …”

Anton Semakov: I hope, one day I will be able to find a job. Normal and stable.

Artem Berman: Got it. The next question is connected with the previous one, so, maybe, you will repeat your answer, and, maybe, you will say something else, “In future I see myself…”

Anton Semakov: I see myself as a self-sufficient person in future.

Artem Berman: Super answer! And the last two questions, “I’m afraid …”

Anton Semakov: Probably, the state when I cannot serve myself. In fact, I can do it now. If I lived on the first floor, I could live on my own and no one would need me.

Artem Berman: Well, this is to the question of the necessity of changes in your life. However, this is your life, and everything is up to you.

Anton Semakov: We have three-story buildings in the city, five-story buildings; there are also two-story buildings. No elevators, nothing. There were no disabled people in the country before. They built houses and did not think about such people. We saw modern apartments, modern houses in big cities. We lived in rented apartments. I was very surprised that they did not have such problems.

Artem Berman: Well, yes, and it turns out, there is such a magical thing as an elevator.

Anton Semakov: There are even two elevators! One is ordinary, and the other is cargo. In addition to this, there are no thresholds in the entrance as well as to the entrance halibut is not some kind of under 90 degrees, but normal.

Artem Berman: I see what you’re talking about, because I …

Anton Semakov: I can’t pull out a vehicle such as a bicycle or a wheelchair without any help. I have no balance … You seem to be standing, you are pushed and you fell at once.

Artem Berman: Well, it’s clear … I understand that an accessible environment is the scientific name of what we are talking about – these are important things.

Anton Semakov: I want to say about an affordable environment that we have a lot in the city, where they made a place for the wheelchair on the ground. Almost every asphalt has a place for a wheelchair. That is, in terms of accessibility – this is not the worst city in the region. At the same time, it’s not a Sochi. At us now, if the employer has not made this place near the establishment – school, hospital or just any shop, – he is not allowed to work until he makes it.

Artem Berman: Got it. Good environment is extremely important, so I agree with you. Look, the last question, “I want …”

Anton Semakov: I want to be in demand.

Artem Berman: This is a good answer, and you summarized our conversation with this answer.

Anton Semakov: I do not want to live on the principle of a pensioner. As if I live my last days. I definitely did not want to.

Artem Berman: Well, that is logical. Look, Anton, we have already answered all the questions that I had. If there is something that you would like to say, and what I did not ask you, then, please, ask me.

Anton Semakov: I have already said everything about what we have. I do not even know what to add.

Artem Berman: Got it. Thank you very much for your time. I will send you an audio record of our communication, and when the text is ready, I will send the link to the page.

Anton Semakov: Well, now I’ll write.

Artem Berman: Super. Thank you very much for your time again.

Anton Semakov: Wait a second. I will…

Artem Berman: Yes, no problem.

Anton Semakov: I will copy and write it now, in order not to forget.

Artem Berman: No problem.

Anton Semakov: Yes. Have you received?

Artem Berman: Well, super, I’ll send you the audio and transcript when it is done. Thank you, goodbye.

Anton Semakov: Goodbye.