15025649 1867890930099055 6728064164134381287 oFor Global Astronomy Month (GAM) 2017, Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) are teaming up with the IAU Working Group Astronomy for Equity and Inclusion and have compiled a list of thirty resources to be highlighted during April.

People with special needs are often overlooked when planning outreach and educational activities and remain a group still frequently excluded from events. The thirty resources highlighted are a free, open source collection intended to support and facilitate the implementation of activities for people with disabilities. The selected best practices, programs, examples of activities, resources and activities guidelines are dedicated to helping outreach and education groups that aim to reach these particular audiences but need more support for doing it.

This collaboration between IAU WG and AWB also intends to be a call for action, to everyone that wishes to implement these activities and wants to know more about how to create and implement resources for people with disabilities. If you want to implement an activity inspired by one of these resources or needs help how to start contact us (Amelia Ortiz-Gil and Lina Canas) and share your ideas, questions and also your experiences with our teams. 

We will be highlighting one of these resources every day here, below, and also on our GAM Facebook page and the IAU Working Group Astronomy for Equity and Inclusion Facebook page. The complete list of resources is also available.

April 20 The talk Sensations , is a powerpoint presentation specially developed for people with cognitive impairments. Simultaneously with the projection of a sequence of images, along with some relaxing music, the lecturer(s) use items with different textures and weight, like pebbles, marbles, wooden and metallic objects, etc. Polystyrene spheres painted to resemble the Sun, the Earth and the Moon, a torch, balloons filled with warm and cold water, a bucket of water and a towel, incense sticks, to make the public ""feel"" directly the sensations suggested by the images, so they ""connect"" better with the narration. This activity is...

April 19 Only Images is a powerpoint presentation developed by the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Valencia and addressed mainly to people with cognitive impairments. It has soothing effects when shown together with some relaxing music, in particular for people affected by autism. It consists of a space trip starting at the Sun, through the Solar System, various objects in our Galaxy, other galaxies, and finally reaching the cosmic microwave background. Download the presentation

April 18 The interactive talk ” The Life of the Stars ” seeks to explain, in an easy to understand language, the life cycle of the stars to people with cognitive impairments. The interactive talk is divided into the following parts: (1) introduction to the science behind the life of the stars; (2) the attendants draw their impressions so far about the life of the stars; (3) observation of the Sun using a solar telescope; (4) the talk continues with the end of the stars; and (5) the public asks questions. This activity is also available in Spanish. Credit: Astronomical...

April 17 In a fun easy way you can make your own constellations with glow-in-the-dark stars. This activity is currently translated in Spanish and English , but is accompanied with visual instructions that will allow everyone to implement them. Stories of the figures in the night sky are a good start to stimulate imagination.

April 16 Gastrophysics is the combination of gastronomy and psychophysics – gastronomy being the knowledge and understanding of all that relates to man as he eats, and psychophysics being the branch of psychology that deals with the relations between physical stimuli and mental phenomena. Gastrophysics is the concept behind g-Astronomy , a collaboration between the Imperial College London astrophysicist Roberto Trotta and chef Jozef Youssef. You can watch the great videos (freely available on Youtube here and here) behind the project and find inspirational ideas to engage with more diverse audiences.