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.