Meet the amazing Daniel Kish
Daniel Kish is able to ride a mountain bike and even describe his surroundings. He does this by a form of echlocation.
Yep, echolocation. The location method in which bats navigate their way around. Daniel emits loud clicks with his tongue and he interprets the resulting echoes. He calls his technique ‘FlashSonar’.
Daniel Kish was born with a cancer of the eye called retinoblastoma. Just after his first birthday he had to have both his eyes removed to basically save his life.
Speaking to Blooms Mag, Daniel explains: “I was using echolocation from the age of two, or younger, but I really didn’t know that much about it. I doubt very seriously that most sighted people give much thought or attention about how they see, so I really didn’t give that much thought or attention about how I see.”
In a feature on the BBC, Daniel elaborates: “It’s not that I can really tell metal from wood, but I can tell the difference between the arrangement of structures,” he told the BBC. “For example, a wooden fence is likely to have thicker structures than a metal fence and when the area is very quiet, wood tends to reflect a warmer, duller sound than metal.”
Daniel and FlashSonar are not without controversy. No major blind organisation supports his technique or his World Access for the Blind charity. Some organisations even criticise Daniel for potentially making blind people seem as off-putting and abnormal. Daniel counters that he tires of blind people being made reliant on sighted people and that blind people should stick to local, memorised routes.