Thursday, January 9, 2014


On Saturday we finished our first training sessions for echolocation with Brian Bushway from World Access for the Blind! Brian travels around the country helping other visually impaired people learn to use sound as a tool to navigate.

Brian came to Georgia from LA, to work with my grandson Myles and two of his friends from the Center for the Visually Impaired.

The boys did so well. Each of them made real progress during the two days that Brian worked with them. Brian explained to us at dinner after the first session, that the brain actually adapts and functions as if it is receiving visual information from the eyes by using sound instead, so you really can "see" with your ears. Testing shows that the brain can use sound information to produce a very similar neurological response when compared to a response to visual information. This neurological response produces images in the brain of what your ears are "seeing". So you can actually "see" with your ears that there is a tree, a car, or a building. Amazing right? By the end of the day yesterday he had the boys walking complex obstacle courses, finding hallways and alcoves, having foam sword fights and finding a bowl or tray in front of them or beside them just by using sound.

This article tells a little about it and about Brian. There's a really cute video too.

It was a wonderful experience. Brian is such a great role model for the boys. He taught us all so much in such a short amount of time. We are exhausted but so grateful. Myles is already sad that he is gone and says he misses "his" Brian. We can't wait until he comes back this summer. I think it's going to open up a whole new world of possibilities for the boys. I could already see more confidence in the way that they were traveling by the time we were finished yesterday.
Boys learn sensory technique to gain ability to navigate