Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sensory Tote Bags

Did you know that WBS has resources designed with the visually impaired in mind?  It is called a Sensory Bag and can be signed out from the Visitor’s Center.  This special educational tool is designed to be taken along with you as you tour our site. 

With so many things to see at WBS, we wanted to do something special for those who are not able take in the sights.  A former intern took on the challenge of creating a guidebook in Braille that can be taken along with you on your walk down the exhibit line past our Wildlife Hospital.  This book has educational information and facts about most of the birds that are on exhibit.

In this Sensory Bag are also several items that can be handled, though special care must be taken to ensure that none of the items get damaged in the process. 

Even our sighted guests love to feel the talons of the various birds

To learn more about birds of prey and other species, there is a container of three different bird skulls, seven talons from birds of prey, envelopes that contain American Kestrel and Screech Owl wings, feathers and a mammal bone.  There is an informational guide sheet about the natural items in the Sensory Bag and information about birds of prey. 

There is also a Backyard Birdsong Guide that features an Audio Field Guide so that you can listen for and identify the different songbirds you may hear on your walk.

Another great teaching aid with more “hands on” items is our Touch Table located at the Visitor’s Center.  This table has several natural items from several different species of animals, including deer, bear, turtles, emu, turkey, raccoon and more. 

We hope that these tools will enhance the visit of those with visual impairments and that it makes their visit more memorable and of course, educational.

Just return the Sensory Bag to the Visitor’s Center at the end of your visit.

Story and photos submitted by Billie Baumann, World Bird Sanctuary Outreach Coordinator

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