‘Where do sounds take us?’

Sounds are excellent guides. Sound waves bounce off various objects and reach our ears. Thanks to them we can tell if there are any obstacles around us or how tall the buildings next to us are. If we listen to the sound of our own footsteps, we can find out what kind of surface we are walking on. Is it a pavement or a sandy road?

These skills are particularly useful for the people who are blind. Sounds can sometimes guide them even better than any kind of map. Losing one’s sight does not mean, however, that the ear is able to hear everything immediately. You need a lot of practice to learn to see the surrounding with your ears.

Let’s practice then!

Look at the picture.

You can see a woman there. Her name is Marika. She will take you for a walk along Ostrówek Street. Marika is blind. She is holding a special cane which helps her get around the city. You will hear its characteristic tap in the recording.

Imagine you are walking with Marika along the street in the picture. Play the recording and listen to it carefully. Can you recognise the surface you are walking on? Who or what are you passing by? Are you walking next to a building or an open space?