An environmental arts program for blind and partially sighted youth.
A listening journey through Canaveral National Seashore.
Produced by the Young Sound Seekers, a partnership supported by the National Park Service Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division. © 2021 Credits:
field recording by students of CDCVI audio editing and narration by
Grace McEllroy, Shane Norton, and Eve Payor final production by Atlantic Center for the Arts
Click here to listen.
In 2020, ACA launched its Young Sound Seekers program, a five-year initiative made possible by a grant award from the National Park Service Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division. The program encourages the appreciation of natural sounds and will help overcome barriers to access by creating a safe, undistracted outdoor space for blind and partially sighted students ages 13-22.
In 2022, this program inaugurates an Audio Lab summer camp for high school students of all learning abilities – sighted and not. This portion of the program has been generously funded by the National Environmental Education Foundation. Stetson University will host this intensive technology and listening experience for up to 30 youth on campus.
The goals of Young Sound Seekers are to:
- Develop curriculum that helps youth learn environmental conservation.
- Share the natural wonders of the national parks by helping to overcome barriers to access.
- Provide a creative platform for blind and partially sighted youth to contribute to the community in new ways.
The program has been featured in Sierra Magazine, NPS Naturals Sounds website, Canaveral National Seashore mobile app, and at the iSWOOP park interpreter forum.
ABOUT THE CURRICULUM
The Young Sound Seekers program hosts students from the Conklin Davis Center for the Visually Impaired in Daytona Beach on monthly visits to Canaveral National Seashore and surrounding national parks. Stetson University professors and students lead a series of listening and field recording activities that teach the value of conserving the natural soundscape―for human wellness, as well as for wildlife communication. Before each visit, the students learn about the biodiverse habitat of marine and terrestrial animal species, the history of the Indian River Lagoon and soundscape ecology. They learn ways to share this knowledge with the community through broadcast media and public presentations.
Young Sound Seekers is made possible by the National Park Service Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division, with valued partners at Canaveral National Seashore, Stetson University, the Conklin Davis Center for the Visually Impaired, and the Florida Department of Education Blind Services.
Laura Henning, Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services at Canaveral National Seashore says, “Canaveral National Seashore is excited to be a part of this new and creative program. This program provides access to an audience that may not have had the opportunity to connect with our resources and we welcome them.”
Stetson University professor, Dr. Nathan Wolek notes, “Canaveral National Seashore has a diverse soundscape. You have the wind and waves, wildlife both above the water and below, and a much lower density of people than a typical Florida beach. I am very excited to help introduce these students to that soundscape through Young Sound Seekers. Hopefully, they learn to appreciate what a valuable resource this National Park is for the local community, and I’m sure we will also learn from their unique perspective on the park experience.”
Ronee David, CEO of the Conklin Davis Center for the Visually Impaired says, “The need to maximize the other senses for blind students is critical. The collaboration with the Young Sound Seekers program is truly a blessing for our population in order to learn listening skills.”
Kelsey White – Biologist, Natural Sounds & Night Skies National Park Service, Interior Region 2
Katie Nuessly – US Fish and Wildlife Service
Rebecca McGinnis, Senior Managing Educator – Accessibility Education, Metropolitan Museum
Byron Harden, I See Music, Chicago
Andy Slater, Society for Visually Impaired Sound Artists (SoVISA), Chicago
For inquiries, please contact Eve Payor, ACA Director of Community Programs at 386-423-1753 or firstname.lastname@example.org