Scientific Institutions Launch “Inclusive Astronomy Stories”

In August, the ten-episode online series began, broadcast live on popular digital platforms, with a Chilean sign language interpreter.

Through “Stories of Inclusive Astronomy,” different specialists and professionals in the field of science and astronomy, teachers, students, and people with disabilities will tell their experiences promoting Inclusive Astronomy in Chile and the world. The connected public will participate by asking questions to the speakers that will be incorporated into the conversation guided by a moderator, in a pleasant and relaxed way.

With an initial program of ten chapters, the first session will feature the presence of Wanda Díaz-Merced, a Puerto Rican astronomer and blind person. Wanda is known worldwide for promoting initiatives of inclusion and accessibility in science. In the first chapter she will address the topic: “Astronomy and disability: the right to choose how I want to participate”.

This initiative is part of the activities that will be carried out by the Inclusive Astronomy Group and ten scientific institutions that were organized for the production of the chapters, which will be transmitted by their Youtube channels and simultaneously by the Facebook Fanpages of all of them and some more: @LCOAstro, @difusionastroudp, @NPFcl, @fundacionpge, @ObservatorioALMA, @AstrofisicaMAS, @dedoscopio, @sochias, @ifauvalpo, @AuiNraoChile, @AstroBVI, @fisica. pucv, @GMTelescope_esp, @difucyt and @ChileCiencias.

The online series is aimed at the general public, with an emphasis on the communities of people with disabilities, to whom it is hoped to make known the multiple initiatives of inclusion and education that are being carried out in the country. The experience gained from these transmissions will serve to launch new series with online and accessible astronomical content in the future.

The episodes of the Stories of Inclusive Astronomy will have a Chilean sign language interpreter, thanks to the “Breaking the Barriers” project, sponsored by the Chilean Astronomical Society (SOCHIAS) and financed by the ESO-Government of Chile Joint Committee. The event is sponsored by the National Disability Service, SENADIS.

Since 2016, the Inclusive Astronomy Group has been working in this area and is currently made up of around 60 astronomers, teachers, science communicators, people with visual disabilities, students, designers, anthropologists, etc., who seek to promote and publicize activities that involve people with disabilities, as well as the development of experiences that have made it possible to generate the necessary adjustments for teaching and learning astronomy, with an accessible and inclusive approach.

The people who make up the Inclusive Astronomy Group belong to the following institutions: the Diego Portales University (UDP), the Millennium Nucleus of Protoplanetary Training (NPF), the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMTO), the Mirador Interactive Museum (MIM), the USACH Planetarium, the National Corporation for the Dissemination of Science and Technology (DIFUCYT), the Millennium Institute of Astrophysics MAS, the Chilean Society of Astronomy (SOCHIAS), the ALMA Observatory, University of Chile (UChile), Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC), the Institute of Physics and Astronomy of the Universidad de Valparaíso (IFA-UV), the Institute of Physics of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (IFIS-PUCV), Universidad Central (UCEN), Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Fundación Pequeñas Grandes Estrellas (PGE), the Center for Communication in Science (CCCs), Associated Universities, Inc. , the National Radio Astronomy Observatory of the United States (AUI/NRAO) and the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Las Campanas Observatory. In addition, the Dedoscopio, AstroBVI and Ayarkün projects have also implemented inclusive activities in this science.

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