Shelfari edited the description of Beginner's Guide to Echolocation for the Blind and Visually Impaired Wednesday, October 24, 2012.
What is Echolocation? The ability to "SEE" objects using sound instead of sight. Echolocation is a fundamentally simple skill that many blind people use daily to navigate and understand their environment. This skill is sometimes misunderstood, but it’s far more realistic and much easier than you may think. The author demystifies the growing practice of active echolocation in a way that anyone can understand, and gives the reader simple exercises, examples, and lessons as a starting point for launching you into a successful practice of active echolocation. Sound waves – like ripples in a pond – reflect differently off of all objects and surfaces. This makes it possible for the trained ear to distinguish shape, size, distance and material of our surroundings. Musicians will tell you that “reverb” causes each room or surface to have its own unique sound response. With sensitization and applied practice of this skill, it’s possible for people with visual impairments all over the world to become increasingly independent, supplementing their existing forms of orientation and mobility with the intrinsic awareness that echolocation can provide. Echolocation requires no special equipment nor any special talent. The human body and mind are truly marvels of nature that grant us with capabilities you may never know you had. If you can hear, you can echolocate. Understanding the simplicity of this skill will allow you to shift your way of thinking to accommodate an expanded awareness of your environment. With this awareness comes independence, confidence, new possibilities and new opportunities.