PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, June 9, 2011

Echolocation Makes Mountain Biking, Skiing Possible For The Blind

Here & Now Guest:

If you’re blind, you may have thought sports like skate boarding and mountain biking were off limits. But Daniel Kish, founder of World Access for the Blind has other ideas.

He’s created a method of echolocation called “Flash Sonar,” that allows those without sight to navigate by making clicking sounds and hearing them echo back.

The method has enabled blind people to skate board, ski and mountain bike.

It has also drawn controversy for being risky. In an email listserve, a National Federation for the Blind commenter termed it “disgraceful” for drawing unnecessary attention to blind people through “abnormal” behavior.

Brian Bushway, a former student who now trains others in flash sonar, defended Flash Sonar to Here & Now’s Robin Young, saying it provides unparalleled independence for the blind. “If you can use a subtle tongue click, there really isn’t anywhere in the world that a blind person cannot get to.”


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

June 6 Comment

Introducing A New Here & Now Website

Coming June 9, 2016, Here & Now listeners and visitors will experience our stories and journalism online in a whole new way.

June 3 Comment

Teenagers Create Impromptu Exhibit At San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art

As the pair toured the museum, they wondered if they could do better. So 16-year-old Kevin Nguyen decided to get creative.

June 3 3 Comments

‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Author Explores Conformity, Mental Health In New Teen Novel

Matthew Quick published his fourth young adult book, "Every Exquisite Thing," this week.

June 2 13 Comments

Do Meal Kits Provide Great Taste Along With Convenience?

Resident chef Kathy Gunst tested a multitude of meal kits, and gives co-host Jeremy Hobson the inside scoop.