Touch The Universe

Noreen Grice's book "Touch The Universe: A NASA Braille Book Of Astronomy" offers a unique "view" into the heavens for the visually impared. CBS

Noreen Grice's job is to bring the heavens a little closer to those who visit the Charles Hayden Planetarium in Boston. But a visit by a class of visually impared students made an impression on her that she will never forget.

When she asked how to handle the students, she was told simply to show them to their seats. But later, when she asked the students what they thought, their replay was, "It stunk." They didn't appreciate it, she says, because they couldn't imagine the beauty witnessed by those with sight.

That inspired her to write a book, called "Touch The Stars," and its follow-up, "Touch The Heavens: A NASA Braille Book Of Astronomy."

Each book features vivid descriptions, in Braille, so that the visually impared can read about the stars. But also included are raised-image pictures of the heavenly bodies, so that the visually impared can get a "feel" for what their classmates can see. Stars, nebulae and galaxies are represented in embossed images that convey, at least in some form, the wonders of space.
  • Bob Bicknell

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