30 Nov 2020

Meet Wanda Diaz Merced

Wanda first noticed her sight loss when she was young. However, she experienced a dramatic decrease in her ability to see in her early 20s when she was studying. She struggled to learn because her campus was inaccessible. For example, she couldn’t see professors writing, or access any of the textbooks. Because of this, it took Wanda 6 years to complete her degree. She stayed determined and kept pushing through.

Wanda wanted to become an astronomer whilst at university. One day, a colleague introduced her to the audio of a sunburst where she could hear the sun and galactic background in real-time.

This led her to develop the art of sonification, where she could turn the data she was receiving into sound. This sound had variations in duration and pitch to express the data audibly instead of visually.

This meant that Wanda could fulfil her dreams of becoming an astronomer, and she now leads project Astrosense whilst also doing educational outreach for blind students and advocating for increased accessibility in STEM- proving to millions out there that you can still achieve your dreams in the face of setbacks.

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