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Blindness and Geography

  • By: Mark Paterson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

In both the public imagination and in geographic practice, we commonly conceive of space in visual terms, symptomatic of a prevailing visual bias in our culture. But what of the spatial experiences of the blind and visually impaired? Do we have to rethink access to spaces, navigation processes and techniques, and mobility? How does this affect our view of what geography is, given that there is research not only on blindness and visual impairment but also research conducted by blind geographers themselves? The question of blindness and geography, while sharing the concerns of geographies of disability, poses some specific spatial considerations, and this entry provides a brief overview, focusing on research conducted on visually impaired people's experiences of space and on the work of blind ...

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