“I tend to do it quite quietly. I call it my bat sense. Itβs just one of these other senses I use to give me a lively picture of where I am.” - Fiona Gameson
The concept of echolocation is fascinating.
Bats, which most of us are familiar with, are able to find their way around despite the fact that they are completely blind.
It is essentially, the art and science of using sound to see.
Now what if we told you that there were humans that could echolocate in a similar way to how bats do?
You would, no doubt, agree that if it were possible for blind people to use sound to find their way around, many blind people would be far better equipped to deal with general life situations.
Fiona was originally from New Zealand, however has lived most of her life in the UK.
Born a healthy happy child, Fiona developed a rare form of Cancer known as Retinoblastoma.
This resulted in her losing one eye at the age of 18 months, the other a year or so later.
When Fiona talks of her childhood she remembers her mother being quite strict on her.
The mannerisms and ideals that her mother instilled in her have made her into the proud and self sufficient woman she is today.
From a very young age, she taught herself the skill of echolocation, which would prove to be extremely useful in her adult life.
Fiona Gameson has not been deterred by her blindness.
Instead, she has approached her challenge with a grace that most able bodied humans would be at a loss to muster.
She learnt to use sound to find her way around her home and general life environment at a very young age.
Those who have seen her echolocate will tell you that she is a master at it and seldom gets it wrong. It is amazing to watch her in action.
She echolocates by using her tongue to make sharp tick-ticking sounds.
She will then carefully listen to the echoes that bounce off of the objects in her path.
Using her echolocation super power, Fiona Gameson is able to find her way around her house as well as, if not better than, a fully sighted individual.
If you wish to learn echolocation yourself, we have some products that can help.
What we can learn from her?
The most important lesson we can take on-board, from Fiona Gamesonβs story, is the importance of being independent.
When she lost her sight, even though she was just three, she could have used her condition as an excuse to become dependent on others for her well-being.
She is the perfect ambassador for persons around the world to not be deterred from living fulfilling lives regardless of their disability.
It must not have been easy for her to learn and perfect this incredible talent - she never gave up.
The other major take-away from her story is that there is always a way even when we cannot see it.
This is encouragement to all of us during troubled times to always find the silver lining.
Fiona found a way to do something that most of us take for granted and as a result improved her life in tremendous ways.
She is also an inspiration to very many other people who see her strength as a virtue to be emulated.
What she is currently doing?
With an ability this special and unique, it is a given that Fiona Gameson will be the subject of scrutiny and study.
She currently lectures and if you want to see an interesting lecture about her life and her techniques getting around unsighted you can have a listen to this video.
She is also a star in the Nature Website Audio file, which you will find a link to, further down in this article.
In this podcast, Fiona shares her ability with the world.
She demonstrates the clicking noise that she uses for her echolocation and helps us all understand just how she is able to find her way around using this special talent.
According to the nature website, the major reason why they felt she needed to show the world her incredible talent was because only seeing, or in this case hearing, her in action would make her superpower believable.
The Audiofile is a series that has been developed to help people understand the need for acoustic science and its place in our world.
By demonstrating her ability in these ways people are able to get a sense of what it is like to be Fiona Gameson.
Videoβs and Links
Nature Website Audiofile
Seeing Without Eyes…? Ben Underwoodβs Amazing Ability!