Hacking Blindness

mandyMeet Mandy.  She’s a musician and a multimedia artist. She’s also losing her vision.  She  is on a quest – to push forward interfaces for non-visual music production to make it easier for those with vision impairments to use modern technology to create music.

We in the music tech community, especially the music hackers among us are in an excellent position to help Mandy take some steps toward reaching her goal. Anyone who has been to a Music Hack Day has seen the wide range of non-traditional music interfaces that we create.  We’ve made Music gloves, leap-motion-based mixers and orchestras,   invisible violins made with iphones, remixing tools that use makey-makey, music controllers made out of kinects, arduinos, webcams and even neckties and coat racks. We build things that make music. With a little guidance we should be able to build things that will help the visually impaired make music too.  Mandy has just started a blog: Hacking Blindness where she is writing about her journey to help develop new and immersive ways for low vision and blind musicians to perform and manipulate. sound.   If you are a music techie/hacker and are interested in learning more about this go to Mandy’s blog and join in the discussion. It is just getting started.  I hope that in an upcoming Music Hack Day we can have Mandy come and help us understand how we can help her #hackblindness.

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