A very exciting event happened this weekend; World Access for the Blind President and Lead Perceptual Navigation Instructor Daniel Kish aka ‘Real Life Batman’ is on assignment in the UK and visited Bristol for two days, beginning Sunday, March 12 at 12 Noon. Families with blind or low-vision children were welcome to attend to meet and participate in a walk with Daniel to learn more about WAFTB’s FlashSonar™ Echolocation and pioneering full-length navigation cane techniques. Daniel Kish, a man who is completely blind and lost sight as a baby has become a pioneer in teaching blind or partially sighted children a new technique that he’s developed which helps them to lead an independent life.
Daniel taught himself to ‘see’ as a bat does, through the use of sound, which is called ‘echolocation’.
Using a clicking sound Daniel is able to create a mental image of his surroundings which means he can ‘see’ buildings, trees and can even determine between different materials used in equipment in front of him without touching anything (click the following BBC link to see Daniel Kish in practice):
Tonight on BBC One from 7pm we feature the story of Daniel Kish, who is totally blind and can, incredibly, navigate by using echo-location. He is now teaching a blind Scottish boy, Ethan, to do the same.The film was developed in conjunction with BBC Radio 4, who will air the full documentary on Sunday at 1:30pm.Here's a clip of Daniel exploring a new location and perfectly describing his surroundings.
Posted by The One Show on Friday, 12 February 2016
Kristy Hooper, CEO of Project Brailler, one of the charities which has funded part of his visit says “this visit is particularly exciting for Visually Impaired children, their families and professionals working in the field because we are opening up the visit for everyone to attend.
When my daughter was first diagnosed as being Visually Impaired it was difficult for me to know where I could turn too next for advice and support on how to provide Lily-Grace with the best opportunities possible; I would have travelled anywhere in the UK to see the US-based Daniel Kish at the time and I’m thrilled that we have now made this possible for other families… It is time to raise mobility expectations for our VI community and what better way to set change than with our future generation. Lily-Grace is a proud and competent cane user and has been for 2 years. She enjoys the independence it gives her. She prefers not to rely on sighted guides.”
There will be many parents and young people out there who are seeking the same guidance and inspiration that Daniel Kish, President of The World Access for the Blind, brings and they can now meet up.
Common Sense, the other charity supporting the event says “being blind is something which changes interactions and experiences of the world, but which isn’t inferior or something negative! That’s why we have invited Daniel Kish so the UK can also benefit from his expertise, it’s great!… When you meet Daniel, it’s easy to think that what he does is amazing, which it is, but it should be the norm. For us as parents it was life changing and massively increased our expectations of what is possible for our children.”
For more information contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Access for the Blind: www.worldaccessfortheblind.org
Project Brailler: www.projectbrailler.co.uk