[Art_beyond_sight_educators] Chris Heckel

Chris Heckel chris.richard.heckel at gmail.com
Tue Jul 2 18:27:14 UTC 2013


My name is Chris Heckel.  I’m a student of Dr. Paul Gabias, a leader in the
National Federation of the Blind who lives in Canada, and works as a
professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia in Kelowna
BC.  I have taken two of his courses, the Psychology of Touch I and the
Psychology of Touch II.

In the Psychology of Touch II course, I Learned about the research to date
on how blind and sighted people take  lines and patterns of lines to
represent objects, layouts of objects and events.

During one class, I had the opportunity to meet Dr. John Kennedy, the
pioneer in the field of haptic pictures of and for the blind.  My respect
for Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Gabias, among other things, led me to pursue this
line of investigation.  I am fascinated by the similarities and possible
differences with respect to how blind and sighted people deal with
representational systems for depicting objects, scenes and events.  I’m
interested in drawings, because that’s what I’ve studied so far.

Dr. Gabias and I will be meeting with Dr. Al Maneki and his team at
E.A.S.Y. LLC.  They have the beginnings of an entire line of products that
allow for the creation, editing, digital transmission and reproduction of
raised line drawings.  In  a draft article that Dr. Maneki has sent to Dr.
Gabias, entitled:

*The Dawn of the Age of Tactile Fluency:*

*Let the Revolution Begin!*

Dr. Maneki wrote: “Up to now, parents of every blind child have inevitably
run up against this vexing problem: “My blind child will be taking Geometry
next year. Now, what do we do with all of those drawings?””

Indeed, what do we do with “all of those drawings”?  And further, what
meanings can lines and patterns of lines take on, in “all of those

That’s the question that I would like to explore in my studies with Dr.

So, Dr. Gabias suggested that I become familiar with the National
Federation of the Blind, its people, its philosophy of blindness and its
structure.  That’s what I’m coming to the convention to do.  I anticipate
that this convention will only be my first, in a long line of future

I’m writing this article, simply to introduce myself to you, and to ask for
your help.

Because my explorations are very preliminary, I’m wanting to have
conversations with people about all kinds of things, but particularly
depiction.  In the course of our conversations, I hope to be able to show
you a few drawings and ask you for your impressions about them.

I wanted you to  know a little something about me, before the convention,
should I get the opportunity to meet you.  Please look me up if you are
interested in meeting me.  I’m staying at the Rosen Centre Hotel.  I’ll be
arriving on the 30th of June, at around 10 PM.  You just have to look me
up, by asking to be connected to my room by the hotel switch board.

I’m looking forward to meeting you all,

Best Regards

Chris Heckel

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