An environmental arts program for blind and partially sighted youth.

ACA has 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.

Ronee David, CEO of the Center for 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.”

GOALS

  • 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.

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 will provide access to an audience that may not have had the opportunity to connect with our resources and we welcome them.”

ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The Young Sound Seekers program will host students from the Center for Visually Impaired in Daytona Beach with monthly visits to Canaveral National Seashore, the local national park. Stetson University professors and students will 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 participants will learn about the biodiverse habitat of marine and terrestrial animal species, the history of the Indian River Lagoon and soundscape ecology. They will learn ways to share this knowledge with the community through broadcast media and public presentations.

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.”

PROGRAM PARTNERS
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 Center for Visually Impaired, and the Florida Department of Education Blind Services.

ADVISORY COUNCIL
Katie Nuessly – Ecologist & Science Communicator, National Park Service Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division
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 epayor@atlanticcenterforthearts.org