It’s an orientation and mobility technique that is growing in popularity and Daniel Kish believes echolocation has huge potential to improve the lives of people who are blind or have low vision.
A leading voice on the topic of echolocation, Kish is also President of the World Access for the Blind USA and is a certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist who teaches people the technique.
Proponents of echolocation say the technique allows people who are blind or have low vision to navigate their surroundings by using by judging how sound reflects of objects around them.
“Echolocation is way of seeing. Instead of using sight you’re using sound. You train your brain to take in that sonic information and construct images from patterns of sound reflection,” Kish says.
Kish joined Vision Australia Radio’s Talking Vision week to discuss echolocation and how believes it can support people who are blind or have low vision to increase their independence and break out the barriers wider society may construct for them.
You can hear the entire conversation with Kish here, or on the player below:
“Restriction of movement is more socio-cultural than physical,” Kish told Talking Vision.
“So often what we find is that a blind person’s physical relationship with their physical environment is established by someone else – that someone else is assumed to be sighted…and then your freedom of movement is contingent on someone else.
“Blindness in and of itself isn’t the problem – the problem has much more to do with the response of society and culture.”