Here is the story, real story, of a girl, Wanda, who loved LOVED physics, especially astronomy. And where do you think that people passionate about the stars and the Universe dream of working? At NASA. Well, Wanda worked very, very hard at school and after University managed to gain an internship at NASA. Her dream come true, like Cinderella being invited to the Prince Ball. But then, Wanda started slowly to loose her sight. She would trip over often, having blind spot in her vision. Within a few years, Wanda became blind. Blindness stop short her dream of becoming an astronomer. She could master normal texts, with computer applications reading it for her, but computer can’t read graphs, and astronomy is all abut graphs: the sounds that a star makes when it dies, the various colours it emits, the distance compared to brightness ecc. Wanda was devastated. But her fairy God Mother, in this case her tutor at NASA, encouraged her to work on a solution and find the magic. And Wanda did: she worked very very hard and developed a computer system called signification, where graphs are transferred to sound; it is not music but through the different pitches, Wanda can picture the graph in her mind and understand the data. Wanda is now working as an astronomer at the South African Observatory.
Watch her on TedTalk https://www.ted.com/talks/wanda_diaz_merced_how_a_blind_astronomer_found_a_way_to_hear_the_stars