WORLD SCIENCE FESTIVAL 2019
Lead Visioneer Daniel Kish part of closing panel
Daniel recently joined Academy Award-Winning Actor and Deaf Advocate Marlee Matlin and two scientists as part of the closing panel at this year’s World Science Festival in New York City. The session topic “Can We Cure Blindness & Deafness? Should We?” mixed cutting-edge science with sensory loss insights and daily living realities.
Learn more about the esteemed panel participants and read an article about the panel session by the Dana Foundation on our News page about this year’s event in the Big Apple.
VISIONEERS @ SONY SXSW 2019
Daniel Kish & Brian Bushway on inclusive design
Daniel and Brian joined Aya Nishikawa, Senior Manager Sony Quality & Environmental Dept, Human Centered Design Professional and Takamoto Tsuda, Design Manager, Sony Creative Center, UI/UX designer, at the SONY WOW Studio at SXSW 2019 in Austin, Texas to talk about inclusiveness in product design, featured in SONY’s “CAVE Without A Light”.
Learn more about the innovations from SONY’s Inclusive Design Team and the insights they learned from Daniel and Brian in videos on our News page about the multi-festival event.
BLIND ACCESS DENIED IN UK
Paralympic Champ banned by UK grocer again
Sainsbury’s is the third largest chain of grocers in the UK and is also the sponsor of the British Paralympic team. But their commitment to disabled rights is being publicly scrutinized after British Paralympic skiing champion John Dickinson-Lilley was left “shaken and humiliated” after being banned from a Sainsbury’s with his guide dog.
This is the second time it’s happened at the same market where a security guard refused entry and refused to get the manager in violation of the UK Equalities Act. Learn more on our News Page.
THE SCIENCE OF SONARVISION
Training the brain to rewire to see with sound
Our collaborative research projects have validated our techniques of combining FlashSonar click echoes with additional sonic feedback from Perceptual Cane work to activate the Visual Cortex, the sight processing center in the brain. With repeated practice, the audible prompts train the brain to rewire to produce what we call SonarVision.
We’ve consolidated the media coverage of the related scientific papers, including those co-authored by Daniel Kish, with a new video on our Science of SonarVision page.
OUR TEXTBOOK REVIEWED
Visual Sciences expert endorsement
Gordon N. Dutton, MD, FRCOpthal, FRCS is Emeritus Professor of Visual Science at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland. Professor Dutton is also an Advisor and Contributor to CVI Scotland, a website devoted to helping people understand cerebral visual impairments, working towards mastery of this complex spectrum of conditions.
In his review, Dr. Dutton says ” Individuals who cannot see, who have learned to navigate autonomously . . . need to teach the sighted . . . Echolocation and FlashSonar does exactly that.”
DAREDEVIL VS. BATMAN
The debate over a media-imposed nickname
Over the almost 20 years that Daniel has been teaching blind people to see in a new way, media coverage of this work invariably throws a bit of sensationalism into the headlines by referring to him as “The Real-life Bat Man”. More recently in the wake of the “Daredevil” movie, some people think he should be called “The Real-life Daredevil”.
We’ve examined the debate in a video on our Science of SonarVision page, from both a factual and tongue-in-cheek perspective. And Daniel weighs-in with a short essay on the matter.
PAYING IT FORWARD
Inspiration from SonarVision crosses generations
Daniel Kish’s ability to see with sound has been taught to other blind children, teens and adults for almost 20 years to the point where more than just life-changing skills and philosophies are being passed to subsequent generations of blind children. Inspiration has also been “paid forward” by the achievements of our students.
Student Visioneer Humoody has been a living embodiment of our “NO LIMITS” philosophy. Learn about his achievements and “Paying It Forward” on his page in our Results and Impact Section.
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
How a childhood classic inspired a blind boy
One of the earliest inspirations for Founder and Lead Visioneer Daniel Kish was hearing the story of Jack and the Beanstalk as a child. It sparked a curiosity about climbing trees that is still a passion today, and one that he has paid forward to many of his blind student Visioneers over almost two decades of SonarVision instruction.
Click on Scott Gustafson’s illustration of Jack and The Beanstalk to take you to a video excerpt on Humoody’s page from Daniel’s Keynote address at Aspire 2018 where he explains the inspiration.
Welcome our new affiliate
Preben Mathieu-Bjerke and the rest of the Team at Visioneers Norway are busy planning SonarVision Workshops for 2019. Preben is the father of three year-old Student Visioneer Luca, and you’ll soon see a page about Luca in our Results & Impact section showing the beneficial results of early childhood Visioneering.
If you or someone you know in Norway have interest in being a part of the 2019 SonarVision workshops, please respond to the poll on Visioneers Norway’s Facebook Page.
WAFTB TAKES PERCEPTUAL FREEDOM TO BLIND PERSONS IN THAILAND
World Access for the Blind was privileged to recently provide a special 11- day training course in FlashSonar™ Echolocation to student mobility coaches in Thailand.
The training is a joint effort by King Prajadhipok’s Institute (Thai monarch 1925 to 1935), the Foundation for the Blind in Thailand under the patronage of Her Majesty The Queen, and Good Intentions, a volunteer group.
We offer our heartfelt condolences to members of the Thai Royal Family and the people of Thailand who are mourning the recent death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, one of the world’s longest-serving monarchs. We feel especially privileged to have honored the late King’s adage that “To help them [the blind] obtain skills to navigate more freely on their own is tantamount to enhancing their independence.”
Our Perceptual Navigation Instructor Brian Bushway and former student Juan Ruiz not only taught the elements of WAFTB’s FlashSonar™refined form of echolocation, they also provided the student coaches with full-length navigation canes. For many of the students, it was their first opportunity to explore areas of Bangkok without being led by a guiding arm from someone.
Read the full report and see photos of the experience at our Assignment: Thailand page.
WAFTB STUDENT ALEXIA SLOANE NAMED CAMBRIDGE YOUNG COMPOSER OF THE YEAR
Two World Access For The Blind students have been distinguishing themselves in the field of music this year. We’ll tell you what piano prodigy Ethan Loch has been up to in a subsequent story.
First, more recently, 16 year-old composer, performer, writer, poet and linguist Alexia Sloane has earned two prestigious musical honors this year, and is becoming something of a prodigy in her own right. She has been named the Cambridge Young Composer of the Year. One of her commissioned pieces, Reverie, will be performed on 21st November at 7.30pm at Jesus College Chapel as part of the Cambridge Music Festival.
Alexia also recently learned that she was chosen from among hundreds of talented composers to be named a Composer for the National Youth Orchestra (NYO) of Great Britain.
Alexia has studied FlashSonar™ and full-length cane navigation with WAFTB President and Lead Perceptual Navigation Instructor Daniel Kish. Prior to that she was primarily guided around by someone. One of Daniel’s goals in the coming year will be to get Alexia together with Ethan Loch to see what their composing skills might produce together.
All of us at World Access For The Blind congratulate Alexia on her well-deserved accolades! We’re very proud of her and we invite you to learn more about this incredible young woman in our full profile of Alexia Sloane.
WAFTB STUDENT ETHAN DAVID LOCH WINS PRESTIGIOUS INTERNATIONAL AWARD
The other World Access For The Blind student who’s distinguished himself in the field of music this year is piano prodigy Ethan David Loch.
Ethan was recently named the Overall Winner of the “15th Premio Internazionale “Giuseppe Sciacca” Awards for 2016. The Awards were created in 2001 by the International Association of Culture and Voluntary Work Uomo e Società (Men and Society) and named after a young student of architecture, Giuseppe Sciacca, who was noted for his sporting activities, social concern and great generosity towards others.
Ethan received this very prestigious award recently at the culmination of ceremonies in the Great Hall of the Pontifical Urban University in Vatican City in Rome, Italy.
As the Awards announcement proclaimed, “despite being blind from birth, 12 year-old Ethan excels in the sound of the piano, making unique musical performances. He is awarded for his extraordinary ability to play this instrument, which has been called “a colorful music” though, unfortunately, Ethan has never seen the colors.”
Congratulations Ethan, all of us at World Access For The Blind are very proud of you! Coming soon, you can read more and watch a few videos of the awards in our full profile of Ethan David Loch.
WAFTB’S BRIAN BUSHWAY EXPLAINS FLASHSONAR™ ON ‘EXPLAIN THINGS TO ME’
World Access For The Blind has had a busy summer and fall juggling media requests to showcase our work and to provide more information about our FlashSonar™ refined version of echolocation.
WAFTB Perceptual Navigation Instructor Brian Bushway recently visited the studios of Fullscreen TV to explain a few things about our work at the proven science behind it to YouTube ‘phenoms’ Anna Akana and Brad Gage on their podcast “Explain Things To Me”.
The show recently moved to a new set that looks as though it would be right at home on the Discovery Channel with its requisite human skeleton and chalkboard rendering of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, albeit clad in boxer shorts and decorated in small bat drawings in honor of echolocation.
Fullscreen TV is a subscription service, so you’ll have to sign-up at their site to be able to see the over 40 minute interview. However, you can learn more about Brian’s interview in which he explains how we teach blind persons of all ages to ‘see’ with sound as our FlashSonar™ clicks light-up the brain’s visual cortex with acoustical imaging.