Monday, September 22, 2008

Letting the Blind Touch the Stars

Astronomer Noreen Grice: “She was Determined to Let the Blind Touch the Stars”
The Boston Globe, September 22, 2008
By Billy Baker

BOSTON -- When she was an undergraduate astronomy major at Boston University in the mid-1980s, Noreen Grice got a work-study job taking tickets at the Hayden Planetarium in the Museum of Science. For a space geek who had grown up learning about the stars by looking up at that same dome, this was something of a dream job, a chance to see, night after night, what the city lights wouldn't allow -- the breathtaking visual beauty of the astronomical canvas.

A month into her job, as she was welcoming people to the theater one day, Grice was surprised to notice a group of blind people in the line. Astronomy is about seeing, and Grice worried they wouldn't get much from the show. ...

Grice had seen buses going down Commonwealth Avenue that had Watertown listed as a destination, and she had heard there was a school for the blind in Watertown, so she found her way to the Perkins School for the Blind. At the school library, she located a couple of Carl Sagan books transcribed into Braille, but they were missing the most important feature -- pictures. ...

Read the full article in The Boston Globe.

The Braille and Talking Book Library at Perkins School for the Blind has copies of Grice’s Touch the Stars II, as well as several science fiction books about Mars and Martians, including:

Moving Mars, by Greg Bear (Recording)

The Martian Race, by Gregory Benford (Recording)

Mars, by Ben Bova (Recording)

The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury (Braille and Recording)

Under the Moons of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Recording)

Martian Time-Slip, by Philip K. Dick (Recording)

Podkayne of Mars, by Robert A. Heinlein (Braille and Recording)

Mars Crossing, by Geoffrey A. Landis (Recording)

Rainbow Mars, by Larry Niven (Recording)

Green Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson (Recording)

The Braille and Talking Book Library at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, MA, provides over 66,000 book titles in Braille and on recorded disks and cassette tapes to patrons throughout the New England area. Volunteer opportunities at the library include Audio Reviewer and Narrator/Monitor.

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