Friday, October 15, 2010

Kudlick at Smith-Kettlewell -- Braille: The Man, the Method, and the Moment

The Smith-Kettlewell
Eye Research Institute
in San Francisco proudly presents Professor
Catherine J. Kudlick, Ph.D.
, Department of History, University of California at Davis, and president of the Disability History Association.

Professor Kudlick will discuss the circumstances surrounding what is arguably the most significant innovation in blindness technology of all time. Her lecture, entitled "Braille: The Man, the Method, and the Moment," will describe the circumstances surrounding a French blind man’s brilliant application of an existing technology to address a serious problem of information accessibility for himself and other blind people, as well as the historical context in which he lived and worked.

This event continues The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute’s ground-breaking Rehabilitation Engineering Meets Disability Studies Lecture Series. Smith-Kettlewell has long been a leader in rehabilitation engineering research for issues related to blindness and low vision. Our Thursday colloquium series routinely offers presentations by eminent researchers on scientific topics related to vision rehabilitation, medical treatment of visual
pathology, and the neuroscience and psychophysics of normal vision.

Our Rehabilitation Engineering Meets Disability Studies lectures feature major figures
in the growing academic discipline of disability studies -- an area that, among other things, examines the impact of cultural, political, and historical factors on the place and perception of people with disabilities in society. 

This talk is only the second in this series intended to bring together the fields of disability studies and rehabilitation engineering research -- a combination whose time has finally come. Rehabilitation engineering and vision research stand to be significantly strengthened through the infusion of rich academic discourse taking place in disability studies. By the same token, disability studies has too long been the exclusive province of social scientists and historians, yet there is an unrealized and important place for neuroscientists and rehabilitation engineers at the disability studies table.

By hosting this important lecture from Professor Katherine J. Kudlick, Smith-Kettlewell is proud once again to lead the way forward. We hope you can join us.

When: Thursday, October 21, 12:00-1:00 PM

Where: The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, 2318 Fillmore St. San Francisco, 94115 (between Washington and Clay)

1 comment:

  1. I read the article in the NY Times by Wendall Jameison about you and your work.
    I volunteer to describe..Where do I sign up?
    I now read to a very old man up the street who is living in a nursing home/rehab center. He was sighted all his life, but not now. His eyes got old. My father in law was in that home for rehab a couple of years ago, he is now dead. I was struck when I went up there during his rehab how many people were just sitting around staring at the ground. Often only because they couldn't see anymore. I decided then I would offer my good eyes for reading.
    This old man wanted to read Le Miserables, as he remembered liking it 50 years ago. Well about 10 chapters in we decided it was.. well... too miserable so we have switched to the Three Musketeers! It's much better.
    Reading the NYTimes article made me think about how wonderful it would be, as a sighted person, to practice describing the things I saw. So often details are simply ignored in our rush to move on to the next thing. These details are the exquisite expression of life. As are the details the senses offer us. So... if there is a place to contact about offering service to this cause, please let me know.


I appreciate your thoughtful comments...