Abstracts of the Talks

Day 1: Saturday, September 24

Astronomy for Inclusion (invited talk)
Amelia Ortiz-Gil(Astronomical Observatory of the University of Valencia, Spain)

I will introduce briefly the materials that we have been using to make Astronomy accessible to all, in particular with the “A Touch of the Universe” project. I will also introduce the activities of the IAU Working Group on Astronomy for Equity and Inclusion.

Reasonable Accommodation for Students with Disabilities using ICT (invited talk)
Takeo Kondo (Research Center for Advance Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo)

Using ICT (information-and-communication technology) we have been supporting students with disabilities to participate in mainstream educational opportunities. They have diverse disabilities: specific learning disability, ADHD, autism spectrum disability, visual impairment, heard-of-hearing, deaf, mobility or orthopedic disabilities. In my talk I will present accomplishments of our efforts.

Niko Niko Tomato – Do Whatever We Can Do, Create Solutions for What We Cannot Do (invited talk)
Emi Takaya (Representative of Niko Niko Tomato, a volunteer group at the Pediatric Department of Kyoto University Hospital)

Niko Niko Tomato (Niko-Toma) started in a small group in February 1995. Today, seventy-four people belong to Niko-Toma and this group provides children with activities that bring smiles (almost) every day. The volunteers create happy and exciting moments every single day and sometimes hold big events. The young volunteers enjoy taking part in these activities with children, and then continue on to become core members of the Niko-Toma group.

Inclusivity at NAOJ Mitaka Campus
Kumiko Usuda-Sato (Public Relations Center, NAOJ)

We have created a large-letter/braille version of the NAOJ Mitaka Campus guidebook. Now, we are developing a tactile model of a telescope with a 3D printer and an audio guide system with a smart phone. I will present our efforts to create an inclusive environment in the NAOJ Mitaka Campus Visitors’ Area.

Various Methods for People with Disabilities to Operate PCs – How to Increase Simple Operations at Low Cost
Toshimitsu Yamaguchi (Niigata University)

There are various methods for people with disabilities to use PCs and tablets. In my talk I will introduce methods for people with impaired motor function to operate these devices. There may be useful “techniques” for astronomy education.

Data Recognition Using Sounds – Sound-based Data-plotting Program “Splot” –
Shin’ichiro Uno (Nihon Fukushi University)

The goal of the Astronomical Data Sonification Project is to sonify scientific data (to convert scientific data into sounds) and to share the sounds with visually impaired people. I will report on the sonification process of various data (such as spectra and orbit elements) and their recognition rates.

Day 2: Sunday, September 25

Multimodal Outreach to Enrich the Field of Astronomy (invited talk)
Wanda Diaz-Merced (IAU Astronomy for Development)

I will talk you through my process to develop a multimodal data analysis tool to analyse astronomy data. I will provide an overview of our project at the Athlone school for the blind in South Africa aiming to study coping strategies while teaching blind students with multiple disabilities to gather, and analyse radio astronomy data. I will mention how this approach serves this population as a springboard to the work field.

The Frontier of the Search for Extra-solar Planets (invited talk)
Bun’ei Sato (Tokyo Institute of Technology)

What kinds of planets exist in the Universe? Is the Solar System special? Or does an Earth-like planet exist beyond the Solar System? How do we discover extra-solar planets? I will introduce the frontier of studies of extra-solar planets.

Creating a New Definition of Disability in the Universe
- The blind may have a social disadvantage but can see beyond the sense of vision.
(invited talk)
Kojiro Hirose (National Museum of Ethnology)

Shogakukan, Inc. published a biographical comic book about Louis Braille this August. Printed on the cover is a tactile image of the Tricolor (the flag of France). As a collaborator writing the story, I discussed with the designer how to express the three colors using haptic senses. Based on this, I would like to think with you about the social meaning of “disability” in the coming space age.

Virtual Planetarium Plan for the Blind with a Robot Arm
- Touch and Recognize the Entire World of Light with a Robot Arm -

Sadao Hasegawa (Helen Keller System Project, Ouunkai) and Ichiro Narimatsu (Dokusho Kobo Inc.)

Using the American-made “Geomagic Touch” robot arm, we are conducting experiments of feeling the 3D data of Mt. Fuji released by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. Our ultimate goal is to be able to feel all light phenomena, and we would like to start our project with a planetarium and the actual celestial sphere.

Astronomy Outreach for the Blind and Vision Impaired Using Tactile Galaxy Images
Nicolas Jean Bonne (Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, University of Portsmouth, UK)

We will discuss a pilot project being developed by the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation outreach team to engage the blind and vision impaired community with current astronomy research, in the form of tactile, 3D printed galaxy images. We will show how these models will be used to convey ideas relating to galaxy shape, perceptions of galaxy size, perceptions of distance and galaxy composition. We will demonstrate the tools we have developed to produce our 3D models, and outline our plans to make these available to the wider Astronomy outreach community in the future.

Astronomy Class at a Hospital
Masatoshi Ichihosi (Tenpla)

I plant to present our outreach activities at a hospital as members of “Tenpla,” the astronomy outreach project. I would like to share my experiences and feelings in a daytime astronomy class, and in an evening stargazing party. I will also mention the challenges of our future activities at the hospital.

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