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Beginner's Guide to Echolocation for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Learning to See With Your Ears (English Edition)

Beginner's Guide to Echolocation for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Learning to See With Your Ears (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Tim Johnson

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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.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

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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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.6 von 5 Sternen  8 Rezensionen
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Ears are Eyes 21. November 2012
Von Ro - Veröffentlicht auf
After I went blind and began learning orientation and mobility skills, I couldn't help but remember a television documentary I had watched with my boyfriend back when I was blind in just one eye. This documentary was about a boy who lost his eyes as a baby. My boyfriend and I watched in amazement as this boy road his bike, skateboarded, shot basketballs and didn't miss, all by clicking his tongue. When the program ended I turned to my boyfriend and said, "I should learn that in case my other eye goes blind." I clicked my tongue a few times but the thought of losing my other eye never seemed like a reality. Who knew a year later I would begin to learn the basics of echolocation without even knowing it.

When I read "Beginner's Guide to Echolocation for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Learning to See With Your Ears" by Tim Johnson, I found myself remembering those early days of O & M Lessons and smiling. While learning to navigate the world without sight was frustrating and terrifying, there were also some really fun times. This book was a refresher for me in many ways but it also introduced new skills and concepts. It can be exhausting moving around the world with your ears. Johnson gives examples of relaxing exercises and techniques to practice to assist with honing your hearing, decipher sounds and open your mind. I think this is invaluable to help with energy conservation. I have found myself focusing on these things in the days since I read this book.

Johnson makes it clear that this book is not a replacement for O & M lessons with a qualified instructor. He also gives information about centers where one can go to specifically learn echolocation. I would love to be able to attend this kind of training! I remember when I was first blind, navigating around my apartment and stopping just before I hit a wall. I remember telling people, "I heard the freaking wall!" I really enjoyed reading this book and finding out in detail just how it worked that day I heard the wall.

Johnson explains sound waves and why certain objects sound the way they do when a click or clap bounces off of them and back to the ears. He explains how the visual cortex in the brains of the blind still function, allowing us to build images in our minds from the things we feel and hear. I ate this information up since I love brain science. When I finished this book I felt brain tired, just like I do when I read books about science. I love it! I also had an aching tongue from all the clicking I did as the book described different techniques. Johnson flawlessly uses descriptions to teach you all the different ways you can click.

I recommend this book for anyone, blind or sighted. Even if you are not interested in learning echolocation, it is still a fascinating read for anyone who enjoys learning something new.

We don't think about the kinds of echolocation we use every day. Whether using a white cane or a guide dog, if we can hear, we can see our surroundings as we move through the world with our mobility aids. There are even some days I can tell when it's cloudy, just based on how different the traffic sounds. I don't know about you, but I am grateful to be able to sharpen all my tools as I continue trudging along on this sightless journey. My thanks to Tim Johnson, for devoting his time and skills to this book!
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent, it teaches the basics of this life-changing skill! 19. November 2012
Von Austin Seraphin - Veröffentlicht auf
I wrote a full review of this book on my blog, do a search to find it. I will post some excerpts here. I use echolocation daily and I promise you this book will help you learn the basics.

Ever since I started learning about echolocation I wanted a way to get started myself. Now someone named Tim Johnson has written the perfect book to get you started.

Many colorful quotes decorate the book by such luminaries as W. B. Yeats and Albert Einstein. People who use echolocation pick these lofty heroes for a reason. This skill represents something truly amazing, something which will completely shift your sensory paradigm and move you into a better place psychologically.

I also liked how the book uses music as a reference. You can practice listening to music as a way to boost the range of your hearing. You use the same skill to sort out signals when doing echolocation. Music also uses a lot of reverberation, and these echoes have some similarities. Understanding how sound and music work will aide you in your understanding of how echolocation works.

The book presents many of the same exercises I did during an intensive. As the book points out, everyone perceives echolocation differently, and will have to arrive at their own understanding and ways of explaining it. I liked how he had exercises to do individually, but also ones which require a partner. Having someone else holding the objects introduces an unknown element, something vital for your progress. Every blind person faces unique challenges. You need to push yourself just enough to make small mistakes so you can correct them and grow more confident.

I felt most interested in the discussion of using the visual cortex of the brain to build non-visual imagery. This sounds like what I experience. When I say I see something with echolocation, I really mean it. I actually see the dark form of an object. For me it also has a strong synesthetic component. In other words, if I click against a glass surface, I will get a cool feeling that reminds me of glass. You have to learn to open yourself to these unique sensations to truly succeed.

The book ends with some recommendations of what to do next. Again, they strongly recommend the three-day intensive of which I've raved extensively. Along with World Access for the Blind, they also list an organization in the UK called Visibility. If you have done everything up to this point, you will have a good background for approaching these organizations for further training. Now the excitement really begins!

If you'd like to see the potential of echolocation, then buy this book and try the exercises. Think about it, wouldn't you pay twenty-three dollars to begin to learn how to see? THis book will show you just that. For the full experience you'll need to do an intensive, but this will let you know if you should think about the more serious commitment. In my opinion you really can't lose. If you can hear then you can see! Go for it!
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen PRACTICAL exercises for any age 30. Mai 2013
Von COMS - KH - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was organized well and did not appear intimidating. As a Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist working with children and adults I see the practical implications of the authors' writing. I appreciated the attention to the senses beyond the 'basic 5' as well as the many 'exercises' or 'lessons' they provide. The authors' also provide simple diagrams that could be easily converted to tactile graphics and/or enlarged for a person with low vision. I will recommend this book to my colleagues, students, and families for a foundational understanding of echolocation.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great idea 19. Dezember 2012
Von amacweb - Veröffentlicht auf
It's nice to see someone educating others on the use of echolocation as a tool for the blind. The book is well written and thorough in its explanations and comparisons. I am not blind myself but find the subject of echolocation fascinating because it explores the amazing capabilities of the human mind and body.
3.0 von 5 Sternen Echolocation Explained 11. Januar 2013
Von Justin Oldham - Veröffentlicht auf
Beginner's Guide to Echolocation for the Blind and Visually Impaired by Tim Johnson (CreateSpace 2012) is a general overview of the technique used by the blind or partially sighted to sense objects and barriers around them by interpreting what they hear.

The author's intention is to explain this concept to readers who may not know what it is. Knowing what it is and how it works can be quite helpful to parents, teachers, and other services providers who are learning to work with blind and low vision students or clients.

I am Legally Blind, and I do rely on what I hear and feel to know certain things about the world around me. Many people have applied many labels to this technique in my lifetime. Mr. Johnson has used the term `echolocation' because his interest is centered on the sound component of the technique.

I bring this to your attention because some practitioners of this thing that "we" do may want to take him to task for what seems like a rather limited presentation. It's important for the layperson to understand that the acoustic interpretation techniques that Mr. Johnson is talking about in this book are just one part of a larger group of sensory inputs that the blind have to master over time.

Fully sighted people who are looking for one single source to understand the overall `blind experience' will be disappointed. Anyone who wants to understand how the human brain perceives and interprets sound will get something from the time they spend with this book.

The author points out that our senses tell us a lot about the world around us. He cites the example of James Holman (1786-1857) who was a disabled explorer. Holman suffered from a long list of conditions that blinded him and impaired his mobility.

Even so, he used his sensory inputs to get around and then wrote several books about his travels. His work was popular as novelty reading, because many people didn't really believe that a disabled person could actually do all those things.

Johnson's technique, as presented, isn't hard to grasp. Pay attention to what you hear, and think about what it means. A series of chapters provide explanations of the human brain and sound wave characteristics. Music is used as a metaphor to make some complex connections.

He's not wrong when he suggests that sighted people can learn this technique. Consider this, if you will. Your keyboard makes a certain sound. The clicking of the keys can tell you where they are in relation to you, if you apply the spatial reference guidelines in this book. Don't believe me? Type something with your eyes closed, and your brain immediately sorts out where that

Anyone who wants to learn about the basics of echolocation can read this book in just a few days. The initiation it provides will literally and figuratively point you in the right direction.
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