In 2004 Frank Busutil wondered what concepts do blind individuals have of the universe and could they intellectually enjoy it. This question was presented to the Los Angeles Braille Institute and the answer was astonishing.
Not only could blind individuals enjoy the universe, but many could actually see it.
Project Bright Sky, along with The Pomona Valley Amateur Astronomers free outreach program, provides visual astronomy opportunities, astronomy courses and summer camp observations for blind individuals.
Through Project Bright Sky telescopes and technologies, many blind individuals are seeing the universe for the first time since loosing their sight. Others are registering mental images of the universe that they will carry for life, as they are seeing the universe for the last time before progressive eye disease renders them completely blind. Individuals who cannot see print on paper are able to see craters and mountains on the moon, Jupiter, Saturn and through CCD video observing many deep sky objects.
With moderate amateur astronomer equipment and technologies, legally blind individuals see more in space than they do in their everyday lives on earth.
For an article about a Star Party for The Los Angeles Braille Institute hosted by the Pomona Valley Amateur Astronomers, click here.