Noreen Grice’s efforts to make astronomy accessible may not be the usual topic for this blog, but she’s inspiring. She’s written several astronomy books in braille. They are also accessible to the sighted, using colorful tactile images of astronomical features. The books are listed at You Can Do Astronomy, her web site. There’s more information on Grice there.
Her latest books is called Touch the Invisible Sky. She’s also written Touch the Universe: A Nasa Braille Book of Astronomy, Touch the Sun and several other books. A description of Touch the Universe gives you an idea of how these books are created for both blind and sighted readers:
“Touch the Universe is the most innovative and unique astronomy book ever published. It is a combination of Braille and large-print captions that face 14 pages of brilliant Hubble Space Telescope photos with embossed shapes that represent various astronomical objects such as stars, quasars, gas clouds, and jets of matter streaming into space. Universally designed for both the sighted and visually impaired reader.”
Grice also designs visiual, tactile, and vibrating kiosks for museum displays. And she’s worked to make planetariums accessible.
The kind of innovation and creativity Noreen Grice has applied to astronomy all her life can spill over into other areas, as well. Those of us who care about accessibility in other areas can learn a lot from her.