Technology to Aid Visually Impaired Ohio Residents in Experiencing Eclipse.


Technology to Aid Visually Impaired Ohio Residents in Experiencing Eclipse.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities have collaborated to introduce LightSound technology at Ohio state parks and wildlife areas in order to enhance accessibility for Ohioans who are blind or have have low vision during the solar eclipse on April 8. Governor Mike DeWine emphasized the importance of ensuring accessibility for all Ohioans, especially during significant events like the solar eclipse. The LightSound device, developed in 2017, allows individuals who are blind or have low vision to experience a solar eclipse through sound by converting light intensity data into audible tones.

The Harvard University Astronomy Lab has provided LightSound devices that will be deployed at 29 ODNR locations, including various state parks. The devices will be connected to speakers, enabling groups to experience the eclipse together. In addition to LightSound, OOD and DNR are promoting the Eclipse Soundscapes app, which is available for free on Android and iPhone devices. This app, designed for individuals who are blind or have low vision, offers educational resources and interactive features to engage users during eclipses. Through functionalities like the “Eclipse Center” and “Rumple Map,” users can explore upcoming eclipses and experience them through sound and touch.

For more information about the LightSound devices and other plans for the total solar eclipse, visit ODNR’s eclipse website.

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