NASA creates book to help blind people experience eclipse

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (NBC) - This month's total eclipse will be a sight to behold but what about those who can't see?

A team effort between NASA and professors at the College of Charleston in South Carolina are making sure everyone, including the blind and visually impaired, enjoy it too.

Mariah Williams calls her service dog Keana her best friend. Always by her side Protecting her and leading the way.

"She's my eyes, my left arm, my common sense."

Mariah, blind since birth, uses Braille and touch. It's her way to communicate with the world.

"You're scanning the page with your fingers the same way you would with your eyes. you memorize these symbols and that creates the language."

On August 21st she will be able to look up into the sky.

"I plan to be outside with my glasses on of course. And I have a tiny bit of light sensitivity so I'm hoping I'll be able to see when the sky starts getting darker."

But she will also literally feel the eclipse. Her fingers will help her understand what she can't see with this new braille book.

"Mariah has been a gem to work with, she has been our beta tester all along," said Professor Cassandra Runyon of the College of Charleston.

Professor Runyon and NASA created an eclipse book for the blind. The printer hasn't stopped. Now in its 4th printing.

"There's over 50 million in the united states that are blind or visually impaired, so this book will help bring the eclipse to reality for those who see with their fingers not with their eyes," said Runyon.

Williams is very appreciative of Runyon's work.

"And now it's helping other people. And that really touches me."