Press Release

Launching New Space Book for the Blind and Visually Impaired

By SpaceRef Editor
November 28, 2005
Filed under , ,

HOST: National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute

WHO: Joseph Henry Press, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and VIEW International Foundation

WHAT: An educational workshop and media event to launch Touch the Sun and celebrate ten years of Sun observations by Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)

WHEN: Friday, December 2, 2005, 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, Maryland

Touch the Sun: A NASA Braille Book by Noreen Grice is the third in her series of tactile graphic books about space and astronomy. Innovating beyond her previous books, Touch the Stars and Touch the Universe, Touch the Sun is a great leap forward in tactile graphic technology. Both TTU and TTS are published by the Joseph Henry Press, a division of the National Academies of Sciences.

The December 2nd workshop will enable fifty visually impaired students, parents and teachers from around the USA, to learn about the Sun at “activity stations” staffed by NASA scientists, volunteers from the Maryland Science Center, and blind mentors from the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Reporters can meet students and officials from NASA Headquarters and the Goddard Space Flight Center as well as the NFB. A model of the SOHO spacecraft, a satellite that provides spectacular movies and critical science data on the Sun and its Earth-influencing eruptions, will be on hand.

Noreen Grice, author of four books including Touch the Sun, is a pioneer in making the planetarium environment welcoming and accessible to people with disabilities. She has a B.A. in Astronomy, Boston University, and M.S. in Astronomy, San Diego State University, as well as more than twenty years of experience presenting programs and creating accessible astronomy materials for the visually impaired at the Museum of Science, Boston.

Notable attendees:

  • Ms. Angela Diaz, Associate Administrator for Education, NASA HQ
  • Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind
  • Mr. Stephen Mautner, Executive Editor, Joseph Henry Press

NASA TV is booking live satellite media interviews for Friday morning December 2nd, featuring two SOHO scientists discussing the upcoming “Touch the Sun” book and ten years of SOHO solar observations.

B-roll video highlights of SOHO imagery, animation, and Touch the Sun in use will be uplinked December 2 at noon, 3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. ET.

In the continental United States, NASA Television is carried on an MPEG-2 digital C-band signal on AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, Transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical polarization. In Alaska and Hawaii, it’s on an MPEG-2 digital C-band signal accessed via satellite AMC-7, transponder 18C, 137 degrees west longitude, 4060 MHz, vertical polarization. A Digital Video Broadcast compliant Integrated Receiver Decoder is required for reception. Analog NASA TV is no longer available.

For further information please contact:

Patricia Maurer
Director of Community Relations
National Federation of the Blind
410-659-9314, ext. 2272

Skip Barker
VIEW International Foundation

SpaceRef staff editor.