Italy suffers a lack of policy/infrastructure for impaired people, often marginalised, thus increasing the gap with non-impaired people who also miss an enrichment which is only possible through true interaction with people each other.
Astronomy shows us how small Planet Earth is. For visually impaired, it is difficult to visualize mentally what solar system bodies could be; on the other hand, this is difficult for any human, since such distances are far from the daily life scale.
Program nestles on an existing Project funded by EU Network for Rural Development, a 1:1,000,000,000 scaled “Solar Trail”: 7km=outer Kuiper Belt; 0km=dome of “Felsina” Astronomical Observatory; total 17 stops, each representing relevant celestial body (eg. Eris, Pluto, etc) by a panel with ENG/ITA info and link to a devoted website for further info; path follows some forgotten remnant of ancient Roman road “Piccola Cassia”; boosts Astrotourism in a remote area far from other attractions: “Corriere della Sera” article
Both blind & non-blind participants enjoy nice guided walk in wildlife.
Starting from our bodies (1 step=1 billion steps) Program would develop introducing further proprioception/ kinaesthesia techniques to simulate movements of celestial bodies/forces in space/time in a 4D mental map, avoiding usual misconceptions (eg. eclipses every month).
Tools: recovery material (eg: actual scaled body planet Earth=1.2cm metal marble, Jupiter=14cm soft ball, etc), NASA/OAD Astrokits 3D prints (surface details), Minolta zenithal maps.
Techniques developed in collaboration with “Anteros” Tactile Museum’s Staff (semiologists, geographers, experienced blind personnel offering their professional support freely).
Results to be shared and double checked also thru National Board.