This blog is about how the world is viewed by the visual and the visually impaired. The intent of this blog is to bring the two worlds together. It is administered by two fabulous sisters, Toni, who is sighted and Robin, who became visually impaired in 2002 at the age of 18 due to misdiagnosis.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
The Listening Ear
“Listen to what you hear, and you will understand what is near.” As expected, since I lost my eyesight, I definitely pay more attention to sound, as it helps paint a picture of my environment. Through sound, one can pinpoint a particular person, place, or thing. In addition, he/she can assume the size, depth, and location by the noise that is transmitted. A term coined for this phenomenon is echolocation. Whether sighted or blind, people who do not have hearing impairments, use sound in their everyday lives. With this said it is authors/practitioners like Tim Johnson who seek to help people, such as blind/visually impaired individuals maximize their sense of sound through echolocation. Mr. Johnson is the author of “BEGINNER’s GUIDE TO ECHOLOCATION FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED: LEARNING TO SEE WITH YOUR EARS.” Through the history of echolocation to the offering of several helpful exercises, this book seeks to introduce a person to the capabilities that rest behind the ear. It is pointed out by Mr. Johnson that although the purpose of echolocation is to help blind/visually impaired individuals become more oriented with their surroundings, it can still be practiced by sighted people as well. In fact, as mentioned above, if able, sighted people use echolocation already. I really like how Mr. Johnson illustrates this point, because in my opinion, his statement creates unity rather than divisiveness. Echolocation is something that both blind/visually impaired and sighted individuals can partake in separately or together. Personally, as I was reading this book, I found myself following along with the exercises while also thinking about how I engaged in similar activities with my co-workers in the past. We were practicing echolocation without really knowing it. Reading further into the book, I became more intrigued and was eager to learn more. In my opinion, the whole idea of fine tuning our ability to use echolocation seemed overwhelming, but Mr. Johnson’s book lessened my anxiety because the given material gradually introduces harder exercises as the reader’s skill level increases. I felt at ease when Mr. Johnson reiterated that what may work for one person, may not be the same case for another, and to gear the material to what best suits you. In addition, he kept inspiring by saying that if one person can do it, then it is possible for anyone to do it. Having completed an independent study on sound, to say that I am intrigued with echolocation would be an understatement. This is why I was excited to read Mr. Johnson’s book, to which I found enlightening. If you want to purchase Mr. Johnson’s book, please click on the below links. Out of curiosity, please tell us your thoughts on echolocation. Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1478371080/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1478371080&linkCode=as2&tag=ti00-20 Accessible Version: http://www.humanecholocation.com/echolocation-guide-msword-format/ Audio Version (Currently available on Tim Johnson’s website, but will soon be available on Amazon and iTunes): http://www.HumanEcholocation.com/audiobook
Posted by Robin at 12/01/2012