Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What is Echolocation?




What is Echolocation?

The ability to "SEE" objects using sound instead of sight.

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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.

   About the Authors: Tim Johnson & Justin Louchart Tim Johnson is passionate about life and helping all people realize their dreams and accomplish their most aggressive goals. As a martial arts instructor he works with young children as well as adults to help them understand their true potential and gain the confidence and ambition they need to grow into strong, independent people. He believes that no one should settle for anything less than remarkable; and that life is a spectacular journey in which more is possible than we may ever know, but we should never stop trying to comprehend all that it has to offer. Our innate curiosity and motivation to improve ourselves is what makes us human and what will always drive us to new heights.

As a full time engineer, Tim's approach to echolocation is an analytical, fact-based exploration of the subject. He encourages the understanding of fundamental concepts in order to gain a complete knowledge of a subject. As a sighted person, he knows that his ability to echolocate might never equal that of a blind person who has used these skills every minute of the day for decades, and whose life literally depends on the amount of awareness he or she has. But he has dedicated a great deal of time and effort to learning the concepts, intricacies and applications of echolocation in his own life with a slightly different perspective in order to understand it to the best of his ability and share these lessons with those in need.  

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