The University of Illinois at Springfield’s astronomy program developed the world’s first telescope for people with disabilities.
It has a fixed-focal point, so observers using wheelchairs can point the telescope at any direction in the sky without moving. The eyepiece is further arranged so that persons with the most severe disabilities can also use the instrument. Sunday Night Star Parties are held for the disabled and their families and friends.
We schedule these on an as needed basis to accommodate people who have expressed interest. They are free and open to anyone with disabilities and their friends and families. If you want to express interest to attend or get more information please contact Professor John Martin (217-206-8342).
The late Jack Jenskow looks through the fixed-focal point telescope at the UIS Observatory.