Starting with ClickSonar

I heard about ClickSonar along time ago. I always thought this would be too hard for me to learn. But playing Showdown since last year showed me, that I can train my hearing much better than I thought. So I looked for a possibility to learn it and ended up with Juan Ruiz at He’s located in Vienna in Austria, which was a short trainride away.

First up was learning the click. This was a bit tricky for me. But after a couple of minutes it worked ok and Juan got some things for the next execise.

He took a plate and a book. He held it in front of me. To the left or to the right of my head. I had to figure out, what it was and where it was. That worked out pretty well. I was amazed, that I could do that.

The next exercise was walkin around the school for the blind. First up was following the hallway. After some trail and error that worked out pretty well. If you scan a bit with your head while clicking, you can hear in which direction the sounds get reflected well and where not. The direction with less sound reflection is the way to go along the hallway.

In the next execise we looked for doors. Some doors were in nitches, which made them pretty easy to find with clicksonar. I also learned to get some idea how big a room is and looking for the stairway. I also tried positioning my self in the middle of the hallway just by clicking. That all worked pretty well. Juan really has a great concept of teaching clicksonar. That was it for the first day and my brain was full of new impressions.

The second day we started off with some execises from the day before and started to head outside. Outside was a different story for me. I had a much harder time hearing my click. Traffice and other sounds on the street are a distraction. But after some hints from Juan I could figure out some things, like bigger poles, bus stations and when I walk by a car, when it ends.

We also exchanged the bigger plastic cane-tip of my whitecane with a small Kellerer ceramic tip. At first I was sceptical, if I got stuck all the time. But it works great, if you lift the whitecane a bit, but only so much it sill has contact to the ground. Juean said, that I can read the ground like reading braille that way. And he is right. Another benifit, but the tactile one, is the echo from the ceramic cane tip. I can now walk along a wall with always around 0.5m distance just by listening to the echo from the cane tip.

The last execise was sort of a hide and seek game. We went to grass area in a park with trees on it. It had to search for the trees with clicksonar. That worked out pretty well. The sound gets lost in the distance, if it does not hit a tree and reflects back to you. I never though I could achieve this in just one afternoon and one morgning of training.

Juan really has a great concept for learning clicksonar. I have lots of stuff to train at home. My click is getting more constent and louder each day., which makes it much easier. Thanks Juan for the great 2 days. I can’t wait, what I will be able to see with clicksonar!