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Monday, September 24, 2012

Why Learn Echolocation as a Sighted Person?

The benefits of acquiring the skill of echolocation as a blind person have obvious impact to the way you interact with your surroundings on a daily basis.  Any insight that echolocation can offer adds incremental information directly to your perception.

As a sighted person, to train echolocation, you must close your eyes.  This is inherently reducing your amount of perception and starting at a level that you are not comfortable with and you may have very low confidence navigating in the dark.  So why would you want to learn??

I asked sighted people in a survey why they wanted to learn echolocation below are some of the common responses:
  • To continue my life normally if I ever were to lose my sight.
  • To continually and aggressively exercise my brain.
  • It's a fascinating subject and an interesting skill to learn.
  • I'd like to be able to navigate in the dark better.
  • To aid in understanding of visually impaired people whom I work with.
  • And many other good reasons along these lines.
Personally, I can come up with a thousand ways echolocation can benefit sighted people... okay maybe not thousands... but at least a few.

In today's world people are becoming more and more open to exploring new methods of learning and growing as a society.  This blog is a good example of that..  I can put this very obscure information out there on the web and there are hundreds even thousands of people who read these articles and respond to them with their feedback and stories about how they are learning echolocation.  It's wonderful to see so many people opening their minds to new possibilities and seeking out new challenges.

Working the brain muscle is always a good thing to do.  Things like learning new languages, learning a musical instrument, learning to cook or learning how to juggle or otherwise improve your coordination is great medicine for the brain.  Notice how each of these examples starts with the word "learning"?  See a pattern?  Learning echolocation is, of course, great brain exercise, but the fact that echolocation is likely to be a completely foreign concept requires entirely new channels to be opened in the mind.

Eventually, not this decade and probably not this century, but eventually, I'm certain that echolocation will become a mainstream mode of perception for all humans.  It will be taught from childhood and will have several applications in daily life.  It can help us become a better race and a better society.  This is the natural way of evolution and new skills like this have been added to the human skillset for thousands of years.  We will always continue to grow and develop as a species.  We can be a little ahead of the curve and essentially see into the future by recognizing these skills now and being part of the driver that helps them propagate to future generations.

Everyday we should challenge ourselves.  This is the only way to improve ourselves.  Each day that passes without overcoming adversity or learning something new or standing up to face a new challenge is a day wasted.  A phrase that we would recite in Portuguese at the beginning of a martial arts class I took was: "Each day that passes, I am improving everything that I do."  Every day I want to become a better person and challenge myself in ways that I did not challenge myself the day before.  Echolocation is a great new horizon on which I find many challenges, and it is for that reason that I find it so alluring.

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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