HAYS, KS --- Dr. Karolyn Kells, assistant professor of nursing at Fort Hays State University, was published in the 2001 second quarter issue of Journal of Nursing Scholarship, an international publication.
Her article, "Ability of Blind People to Detect Obstacles in Unfamiliar Environments," is the culmination of a phenomenological study she conducted in a Midwest state five years ago.
Her study shows an uncanny ability possessed only by people who were blind from birth, or soon thereafter. This ability, if not abated by white canes or seeing-eye-dogs, allows these people to detect the presence of objects in unfamiliar environments.
One of Kells' subjects could tell that a custodian had left a mop bucket in the hall and avoid it, having not heard it being placed there. Another could detect the location of furniture in a completely unfamiliar room.
"It's almost like the sonar used by bats or whales," said Kells. "The accuracy with which these individuals can detect objects is almost disturbing."