Individuals who are blind and visually impaired engage in a sensory experience during the April phenomenon.

Individuals who are blind and visually impaired engage in a sensory experience during the April phenomenon.

The blind and visually impaired communities in Mazatlán, Mexico, recently participated in a workshop to experience the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8. Led by astrophysicist Mario De Leo Winkler, the workshop aimed to help participants perceive the eclipse through touch, taste, and smell. Winkler, the communication director of the Knowledge of the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM), used scale prototypes of the solar system to help attendees understand the size of the Earth, Moon, and Sun through touch.

Through activities like simulating the stages of a solar eclipse with heat equipment and a culinary exercise where a dessert represented the stars, blind and visually impaired individuals were able to explore and understand the phenomenon in unique ways. Winkler emphasized the importance of incorporating multiple senses in learning tasks to improve retention and communication.

The Autonomous University of Sinaloa (UAS) collaborated with UAM to organize this workshop, which is part of a larger effort to promote inclusivity and outreach related to astronomy for individuals with physical disabilities. The UAS, along with other institutions, has been hosting various activities and events to engage blind and visually impaired individuals in the study and appreciation of astronomy.

Nidia Yuniba Brun Corona, the academic secretary of UAS, highlighted the university’s commitment to creating accessible and inclusive learning opportunities for all students, including those with disabilities. The workshop was attended by students from special education sectors, demonstrating the importance of providing diverse and engaging educational experiences for all individuals.

Overall, the workshop provided a unique and meaningful experience for blind and visually impaired individuals to connect with astronomy and the upcoming solar eclipse in April. By incorporating sensory activities and diverse forms of communication, participants were able to enhance their understanding and appreciation of the phenomenon.

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