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Batboy Uses Sonar to 'See'

Batboy earDespite the fact that he was born blind, Lucas Murray plays basketball, climbs rocks and tears around a playground as confidently as a sighted child.  His mother doesn’t worry too much about him bumping into things or getting hurt because while his eyes may be blind, his ears are not. The 7-year-old UK boy has earned the nickname ‘batboy’ after learning a technique that allows him to use a type of sonar to ‘see’ with his ears.

Similar to what bats and dolphins do, Lucas sends out a sound and uses the returning echo to form a mental picture of his surroundings.  By clicking his tongue on the roof of his mouth, he can determine the distance, shape, density and position of objects around him.

Bats and dolphins are born knowing how to do this, but Lucas had to learn. He was taught by Daniel Kish, a 43-year-old California man who has been blind since infancy.  Kish taught himself this remarkable skill and now dedicates his life to teaching others. You can learn more about Kish and his efforts to help equalize the success of the blind by visiting World Access for the Blind.

Image: sxc.hu

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