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Blind man teaches himself echolocation

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2016-06-27 12:12

About the solution

Daniel was diagnosed with retinal cancer when he was one year old, and then had his eyes removed by the time he was 13 months.

Because he wanted to have an independent life, he taught himself echolocation - “FlashSonar” – he calls it. He is able to detect the location of objects by making frequent clicking noises with his tongue. Daniel learned to bounce his clicks off objects around him, giving him an even clearer picture of his surroundings.

Daniel’s clicks tell him what's ahead: the echoes they produce can be soft (indicating metals), dense (wood) or sharp (glass). Judging by how loud or faint they are, he has learned to gauge distances.

“It was only when I was 11 that a very bright friend realised that what I was doing was echolocation, the same technique that a bat flying in the dark relies on: I was navigating my surroundings by listening to the echoes as my clicks bounced off surfaces”, he explained.

Daniel is able to perform such activities as riding a bike, swimming, cooking and even climbing trees.

“Everything around me becomes identifiable with a click. It provides me with a 3D image in my mind with depth, character and richness; it brings light into darkness. I can often find my way out of an auditorium quicker than a sighted person because I can identify the exit”, he observed.

Daniel and other coworkers run a nonprofit organization called World Access for the Blind, headquartered in his home. World Access offers training on how to interact with one's environment, using echolocation as a primary tool. So far, in the decade it has existed, the organization has introduced more than 500 students to echolocation.

Adapted from: http://mjm.ag/15tiyzr

More info: http://www.worldaccessfortheblind.org/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRA-asTuP_Y

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Daniel Kish, born in USA, in 1968, is a blind man who navigates on his own using echolocation, being self-taught, and who is now teaching others using the same method.

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