Friday, October 2, 2015

My TEDxFukuoka 2015 Talk: WYSIWYG -Snap That Moment with Flash Sonar Echolocation TEDxFukuokaに登壇しました

On September 19th 2015, I made an appearance at TEDxFukuoka 2015 as an adventitiously blind photographer. 

My original intention, preparing for other TEDx event, was "Seeing through the lens" but I changed the theme to "WYSIWYG", despite the fact that many people did not get it as a former IT warrior myself, I believe there are at least some people, especially in IT, web creators and designers, get what I want to say, and this allowed me to cover all Technology, Entertainment and Design.

The talk covered the fact that I was into technology and photography, I lived in un-Japanese-like life, value my independence, responsibility and freedom, that were suddenly taken away by a stroke caused by my inheritent and incurable heart disease. As soon as I lost my vision, I taught myself how to use a computer, luckily I had a MacBook Pro and iPhone with VoiceOver screen reader technology. Soon after, I learned about echolocation that bats and dolphins use, and Daniel Kish, who is the first one that I know of, to apply echolocation for human use, calling it "Flash Sonar." Though the surrounding "society" were skeptical about it, I decided to get out from the bed and went for the journey of discovery and recovery, meeting Daniel for Flash Sonar training.
Since then, I enjoy my independence, responsibility and freedom of expression, travelling around and taking pictures. With a appropriate help, and support, right tools and understanding of family, friends and society, the possibility of people of disability becomes unlimited.

What I couldn't cover, but intended to cover, werehow my life before losing sight was, the detailed information about how sonar works (replaced by demonstration at the talk)and surprisingly, I didn't mentioned any details of how the heck I take photos even though I'm blind! When I was going through the demonstration of "seeing by hearing" using a sonar, thought I won't finish it in adequate time, I instantly summarised the photoshooting technique part from few paragraphs to 2 sentences as I talked. That's why I was nervous and worried if I can convey my message by making it too short. In other words, I saved something to talk about if I'm given an another opportunity to talk at other TEDx event in future! (I said "by "my knowledge and instinct" to set shutter and aperture, or leave them Auto instead of giving any senses I use, framing and measuring distance, shooting moving subjects, a hidden technique called "the sixth sense" to shoot a landscape photo and so on)

I have given many presentations in Japanese, but I guess it's been the first time I gave a speech inn English since I became blind. I would say if I had more time to prepare, I'd done it better, but I'll leave it up to you, seeing is believing. You'll find out what I mean when the video comes on YouTube soon.

What You See Is What You Get.

Thank everyone who has supported me through this project, and special thanks to:
Daniel Kish of World Access For The Blind

for insight and through support from the view of people with disabilities, and
Jonathan Mann
 for the awesome theme song!


話の内容としては、小さい頃からテクノロジーや写真に興味を持っていたことから始まり、失明に至った理由、たまたま所有していたMacBook ProとiPhoneにVoiceOverというスクリーンリーダーが入っており、入院中に独学でつかえることになったこと、インターネットで
エコーロケーション(反響定位)とダニエル・キッシュ氏のことを知り、周囲が心配する中で一人でロサンゼルスに訓練を受けたこと、地元紙LA Timesから取材を受けたこと、写真を撮るようになったことを通して、適切なサポート、適切なツール、そして家族や友人、周囲や社会の理解があれば、障害者はじりつし、責任を持って、自由に行動できる、そう思います。それを結びつけてくれたのが、私にとって写真だったわけです。


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Watch & Share! New documentary about ME!

The documentary movie of me learning echolocation (flash sonar) and daily living accessibilities is on YouTube now! This documentary film shows my “Recovery and Discovery” process since I became blind because of Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). My sincere thanks goes to Juan Ruiz and Daniel Kish of World Access for the Blind for intensive training given to me, and Neil Abramson for shooting and sharing this great documentary movie. I hope this will increase awareness of helping Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) patients and blind and visually impaired people around the world who need social and financial support. Besides, we need your help spreading this movie, or help us raise enough funds to finish this movie and submit it to movie festivals and TV broadcasting stations. If anyone can help, please let me know. Thanks! 私が日本人として始めて、当時全盲として唯一の認定訓練師による、エコロケーショと日常生活訓練の様子を収めたドキュメンタリー映画が、先日YouTubeで公開されました。エコロケーションは、小さい子供であるほど、習得が容易ですが、中高年の 中途失明者には、不可能とさえ言われてきました。それを打破すべく、中年の私は、 この映像が収録されてから今までの4年間、あきらめずに続けています。一人の人間 の、どのようにエコロケーションを習得していった様子を、どうぞご覧ください。この映画を通して、特発性拡張型心筋症と視覚障害者、特に全盲の人間に対する理解 と応援の気持ち感じていただければ、幸いです。 最後になりましたが、私にエコロケーションをはじめとする日常生活訓練を根気強く 教えてくれたホワン・ルイズとダニエル・キッシュ両氏と、ドキュメンタリー映画のプロデューサーのニールに感謝の意を示したいと思います。ありがとうございました! MY NAME IS RYO - YouTube

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Made and Appearance on LA Times / LA タイムズに掲載されました

Never thought I would make an appearance on the first page of LA Times! Please have a look at the online version of the article to find out how my echolocation train with Brian and Daniel carries out.

とうとうLA Timesのトップを飾ってしまいました。英語が読める方、私が実際どのように、ブライアンとダニエルからエコロケーションのトレーニングを受けているか、ぜひお読みください。


Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Photo with Daniel and Brian After Echolocation Training Spring 2015

The 2nd day of echolocation (flash sonar) training is over. I was somewhat nervous with observers but it was a great lesson, as it was a great opportunity to find out my shortcomings when I lost track of environment factors like the sunlight, the sound of cars, the traffic flow, an airplane flying over me, and so on.

Thank Brian and Daniel for echolocation and life skill training and we will catch up again!

A special thanks to Rob, who took this photo.
(hope the photo shows up.)



Reunion with Daniel Kish

After delivering the speech about flash sonar at TED 2015 conference in Vancouver Canada, Daniel Kish came back home! It's always great to see him and hang out. It's been about 5 months since we met last time. Thanks always for having me for a few days!

Here's Daniel's talk about flash sonar at TED 2015.
Daniel Kish: How I use sonar to navigate the world - YouTube

Echolocation Training Spring 2015 Day One Follow-Up

It's not an official, but Jules spared some time for me to walk around the neighbourhood after the 1st day training with Brian.


Echolocation Training Spring 2015 Day 1

I'm baaak to Long Beach for an another echolocation training session!

It's the 6th session since my first training in September 2011 with Daniel and Juan. This time, Brian is the main instructor. 

It seems that our first mission is to find Johnny Rebs to have a behemoth amount of beef ribs! If there is a goal, I can do the best!

I found I have lost the ability to process all the information I perceive, hearing the tongue click while observing the noise of traffic, airplanes flying over and wind.
Eventually we got there, but I could have it done better.


Air Canada's Solution to Touch Screen Entertainment System for the Blind

This is the first time I found Air Canada offers a frame for its inflight touch panel screen entertainment system! Though control is limited to Audio, volume control and channel, but at least Air Canada offers some entertainment accessible to the blind and visually impaired passengers!


Golden Gate Bridge

I have flown over it and drove on it so many times, this is the very first time I stopped at the vista point and got photos. It was nice and clear day.

One photo that has me in a frame is taken with iPhone 6 with HDR on and the other one is taken by me with Fujifilm X100S.

Frozen Niagara Falls

It was freezing cold but I made it there!