dan.shire at gmail.com
Mon Oct 19 18:40:48 UTC 2020
Hi folks -
I hope all my friends and colleagues in the accessibility field are
doing well and hanging in there during the COVID situation which
continues to affect us all.
Today is the start of Audubon's Birdability Week.
An effective way to relieve stress and anxiety can be spending time
outdoors in nature. My wife Karen and I do this by visiting natural
areas like parks where we are able to hike, and by birding (watching and
listening to birds). Karen hears more birds than I see, despite her
youthful enthusiasm for Led Zeppelin music.
Some of the most experienced birders identify the birds by their song,
rather than by sight. So, low vision and mobility limitations do not
have to limit our enjoyment of birds and nature when we have a chance to
visit accessible natural areas.
The Audubon society has partnered with a number of groups and
individuals to explore and promote accessible birding for a wide
audience. You can learn more about this initiative on the website
mentioned below. If you have discovered a place where you can experience
nature and birds, you can add that location to their map, which already
includes a number of accessible trails and locations in Ontario. Your
accessible spots for bird watching and birding by ear could be anywhere
in Canada or the United States.
"Birdability Week 2020 is a celebration that birding is for everybody!
Everybody includes anyone who wants to participate in birding events but
experiences accessibility challenges. —Virginia Rose, founder of
Here is their website - https://gis.audubon.org/birdability/
Also, I wanted to let people know that I am working on organizing an
east-end GTA event during the bird migratory season next year (mid May
2021) when I hope we can once again get together in person to enjoy some
birding. I am on the board of the Thickson's Woods Nature Reserve in
Whitby (www.thicksonswoods.com) and I would like to set up a 'birding by
ear' 3 hour experience for novice birders with low vision or blindness
who would like to explore birding in the Toronto area with some
experienced tutors and in a safe and welcoming environment. Stay tuned
for more information about this over the winter as I work on the details.
Dan Shire (IBM Canada, retired).
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