Friday, August 15, 2014

Beginner's Guide to Echolocation now available on

In an effort to make the echolocation beginner's guidebook more accessible to everyone, I have recently made the book available on  The audio version of this book is read by an excellent narrator by the name of Gabriel Bush.  The book is short and concise, while it's just over 2 hours long, it contains a wealth of information and has been the starting point for many blind persons on their way into the world of echolocation.

For more information about the book and a complete book outline please visit

Monday, March 10, 2014

Free 7-Day Echolocation Audio Course

Get started with echolocation the easy way.  This is a quick and simple audio course I cooked up recently to help you get your feet wet with active echolocation.

You can listen to it on the website or through your favorite podcast application.

Here is a link to the first lesson and an introduction to the course:

Listen to the course on iTunes here:

Or listen in your favorite podcast app with this feed:

Monday, February 24, 2014

Braille Edition of Beginner's Guide to Echolocation now Available for Pre-Order!

Like I said before, I'm so happy to finally be able to announce the release of the first ever book teaching the basics and mechanics of echolocation!!

I have had a lot of requests for this edition, and rightfully so.  My goal for this book has always been to enable blind people with lower levels of confidence to read about, explore and experiment with echolocation at their own speed in the comfort of their own home.

Pre-order your copy of the book in braille now to get your book as soon as they are ready.
The official braille release is on April 1st, 2014.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Braille Edition of Beginner's Guide to Echolocation Coming Soon!

By popular demand, I'm happy to announce that I will soon be publishing the Beginner's Guide to Echolocation in Braille!  There are thousands of people around the world who have expressed interest in learning echolocation, but in-person training is simply not possible due to cost, location, timing or other reasons.  The Beginner's Guide to Echolocation is the only book of it's kind that teaches the fundamentals of echolocation to anyone interested in learning.  Endorsed by Daniel Kish and World Access for the Blind, the book has been sold around the world and received excellent reviews as an introductory learning tool for individuals as well as an instructional tool for mobility specialists.

The book is currently available in print, large print, ebook (various formats) and audiobook.  Publishing this book available in braille is the next obvious step and there have been many requests for this publication.  I am anticipating making the book available in April 2014 or sooner.

Please connect on my facebook page for further updates on this publication.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Are You Using Echolocation Without Knowing It?

Many people who are blind or visually impaired use echolocation without even knowing it. You may be better at if than you think, especially if your have been without vision for many years.

Often times I talk about echolocation as requiring the use of a mouth click or tongue click, however, the only thing that echolocation requires is some sort of sound. There are a myriad of sounds around us all the time, both acute sound events (like a click, pop, footstep, words, etc.) and ambient sounds, like wind or appliances. All of these sounds undergo many reflections bouncing off of all of the objects around us before making it to our ears. If you have been without vision for some time, you are no stranger to the subtleties of sounds. Many people claim to glean information about their surroundings by tapping their cane on the ground. This tapping sound is something one becomes very familiar with and can be a very effective sound for use with echolocation. Whether you can learn a little bit about your environment, (like what size room you are in) or a lot about your environment, (like what type of furniture is around you, or where a doorway is located) you are using some amount of echolocation.

If this is a strategy you use for mobility, you undoubtedly understand the benefits of this mode of perception. Now is the time to explore the fundamentals of echolocation even further to see how much you can improve this perception. The reason echolocation is taught using mouth clicks is simply because the sound emitted from your mouth is very close to your ears, which means that the sound is basically travelling in a straight line out from your head and directly back to your head. This helps to control the signal better and eliminate various sound reflections that may occur when the sound is emitted from other places, like your snapping fingers or the tip of your cane.

It's important to mention here that there are actually benefits to using a signal that originates a the tip of your cane or your hand, to the effect that it can enable you to see objects in your periphery if done properly. For more information on how you can implement the principles of echolocation in addition to the use of your cane, please take a look at the website ( and read about the book, Beginner's Guide to Echolocation.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Research Helps Understand the Ability to Pinpoint Object Location Using Echolocation

This is a brief article, and more importantly a video documenting some of Dr. Daniel Rowan's research in the field of echolocation.  Rowan is a lecturer in the audiology department at the University of Southampton and has been working to try to create experiments designed to quantify the subtleties and understand the usage and effectiveness of echolocation for both blind and sighted individuals.

Here is a link to the video:

In the video link below they use an "anechoic chamber" to isolate sounds for experimental purposes.  A flat object is moved from side to side to test the ability of a subject to determine it's location.  This is a somewhat fundamental test, and I would say that since it is a large flat object that the test should be fairly easy for anyone who is familiar with the use of echolocation.

I've been in communication with Dr Rowan about his research and he is a very enthusiastic person with plans to continue his research with further studies to help better understand and quantify this skill.  Perhaps in the future he will publish some studies on the more subtle aspects of echolocation, such as the effectiveness of echolocation with varying levels of background noise, or the precision of edge-finding using different frequency signals, or the precision of subjects' ability to determine object construct.

Stay tuned for more exciting things in the field of echolocation! :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Echolocation Exercises for Blind Children

I have long stressed the importance of learning awareness techniques at a young age, and anyone else teaching echolocation as blind mobility will tell you that it is the best time to learn.  Children have the amazing capacity to lock on to new concepts like echolocation simply because they are still open to all possibilities.  If they are simply encouraged to be more aware of their senses it will lead to better awareness and improved independence later on.  This goes for blind children as well as sighted.  I think that sighted children who become aware of the concept of echolocation could, indeed benefit a lot from it, if only to broaden their horizons and give them a better understanding of all the intricacies of the world around them.

Below are a myriad of games that I've cooked up to help children improve their aural awareness, and become accustomed to listening intently and even identifying certain objects using active echolocation.  These games will be very effective even on children as young as 3 years old.  Making the games fun and engaging may be the tricky part; I've done what I can to make them entertaining, but a lot of that will fall on the iron-clad shoulders of the creative parent.  Good luck!  I would love to know how you and your child make out with these exercises.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions along the way.

  • Dodge the UFOs!
    • Have your child make a "sssshhh" sound while you move a book, or other flat object toward their face.  Try to keep the flat side of the object directly facing them at all times, and tell them to "duck the flying objects" as they approach them.  
    • Then move the object toward the right side of their head and then the left side of their head instructing them to move either left or right to get our of the way.
    • Eventually you may be able to use the palm of your hand as they get more sensitive.
  • "Which way does the wind blow?"
    • Use a book or ball and move it from left to right in front of their face.  Tell them to make a "wind" sound, which should be similar to the "ssshh" sound, and then have them point either left or right depending on which way it's going.  
    • This can also be a good exercise for teaching them the difference between left and right if they are at that age, just have them say the word.
  • What am I hiding behind?
    • This assumes your child is familiar with the environment, such as your living room or their bedroom.
    • With them staying in one place, (like on the couch or in bed) move yourself around the room and hide in different places and ask them "Where am I hiding now?"  Make sure your voice is coming from behind a certain object and you are not projecting directly toward them.
    • Hearing your voice coming from behind certain objects will help them start to get accustomed to how sound moves around a room and reverberates not only off the walls but off of, and through different pieces of furniture.
  • Which room are we in?
    • Carrying your child around your house and not allowing them to touch or otherwise orient themselves, ask them which room you are in. 
    • They may naturally want to yell or make a noise to find out.  And they may be able to use your voice to determine the answer as well.
    • Try to make a game out of it, by zooming around in circles and disorienting them as much as possible so that they have to rely on the sound cues only.
  • Find the ball in the cacti. 
    • This exercise will be for a more advanced child who is comfortable sensing objects and furniture and who has presumably developed a consistent echolocation signal or click.  It can also be done with a clap if desired.
    • Set up an obstacle course or simply move the furniture around a bit to disorient them.  And place a beach ball somewhere in the room.
    • Challenge them to find the ball without touching anything else.
  • DRUM SOLO! How many different clicks and sounds can you make?
    • This is simply a way to get them to exercise their palatal clicks and vocal dexterity.
    • They may find some very interesting sounds that are good to use with echolocation.
  • Guess which toy I'm holding
    • Choose two of their favorite toys, one hard, preferably with a flat surface, or an inflatable ball, and one soft, like a stuffed animal.
    • Hold it up in front of them and ask them to make a click if they can, or simply the "ssshh" sound, and tell you which one it is.
  • How many steps to the wall?
    • This can be done in many different environments, not just the home and is intended for children who have developed a consistent click and are comfortable with the basics.  
    • Position them in front of a flat wall at some distance between 3 and 10 feet away and have them click and estimate how many steps it will take them to be able to reach the wall.
    • Have them verify their estimate by approaching the wall.
  • Sneaky Sammy
    • Use a stuffed animal and quietly hold it just to the right or left of child's head. Have them click or say something with a lot of "S" sounds like "Sneaky Sammy's somewhere..." 
    • Then have them grab for the stuffed animal on either side.
  • Catch the fly
    • Softly rub your forefingers together and move them around in front of your child. They must reach out and grab your hand.
    • This exercise is not actually echolocation, but instead will give help them with identifying the source direction of subtle sounds which will help with echolocation in the future.
To broaden your understanding of echolocation and help your children do the same, please take a look at the Beginner's Guide to Echolocation.  There are lots of intricacies to the skill which I have tried very hard to distill into concepts that can be easily understood by everyone.  Again, please contact me with any questions or to let me know how your child is doing with these exercises.

Free 10-Minute Audio Lesson: Learn the Echolocation Click

Learn echolocation clicks with a free audio lesson
Learning how to click is one of the first steps to becoming an effective echoloator. This lesson provides clicking samples of a variety of different clicks and descriptions of when they might be most useful. This lesson has been used by O&M instructors all over the world.

Despite popular belief, it's easy to make your clicking quite subtle or unnoticeable even in quiet settings. There are many different clicks for different situations. I explain all of these in great detail and give examples of where, why and when they can and should be used.

Get your free lesson now:

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