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Education and Assistive Technology for Blind and Visually Impaired Musicians, Presenters or Authors of Radio Plays and Broadcast Programs

Many visually impaired people are predestined to work in any field of audio-production, in particular musicians with technical ambitions, authors, and presenters. Blind people often own outstanding analytic hearing to orientate in the spatial environment but require special teaching methods and assistive aids, because they cannot read screens, displays, and level-meters of studio hard-and software. Taking first steps into audio work of any kind are difficult for young blind people due to missing opportunities and professional support. Audio hard- and-software is far from barrier-free, but there are first successful attempts made to solve barriers. Such valuable efforts and an approach for teaching methods are revealed in this paper, reporting existing possibilities, and appealing to increase efforts in education opportunities for visually impaired. There is a quite remarkable number of highly professional blind musicians and sound producers, who prove that a blind person can have a career in the performing arts or music industry and take part in society as everybody else does. Methods for barrier free audio lectures for v.i. and blind people will be presented after an introduction with some general facts about visual impairment that have to be known by the reader for better comprehension of the topic. The intention is to encourage and empower visually impaired and blind people to claim participation in audio production, broadcast or even the movie industry’s new departments for audio description for visually impaired. I question the status quo and offer first solutions, improvements and research based on 30 years of practical audio work and 14 years partly awarded work with visually impaired music and radio enthusiasts. This paper is an excerpt and cannot claim being perfect in the solutions offered, as this field of research only just has begun. My intention is to share personal experience and ideas to encourage colleagues and audio professionals to go further and improve what’s already here in that context. To keep the text fluent and comprehensive the phrase “blind” stands for every kind of visual impairment (v.i.).

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