World Access For The Blind Results and Impact. Testimonials from students, families and contractors. Hear first-hand about the life-changing impact of our work 'in their own words'. Image shows WAFTB Perceptual Navigation Instructors Juan Ruiz and Brian Bushway standing with students and staff of the Foundation For The Blind In Thailand in front of a backdrop that features Thai characters with the word 'Echolocation'.
Quote: 'I don't know if you realize the big impact you have made with your visit to Iceland. Thank you for giving us our hope bacak.' The parents of an adopted visually and hearing-impared Chinese girl.

OUR BEST AMBASSADORS ARE OUR OWN STUDENTS

 

Only they can tell you what it feels like to learn how to liberate from dependence and isolation.

Only they can describe the feeling of Perceptual Freedom.

And only their families can describe the emotions of witnessing their blind child becoming more self-directed and fearless as our FlashSonar™ Echolocation lights-up the world around them.

Ethan David Loch

You don’t need sight to become a musical virtuoso!

Blind from birth, Ethan’s first language was music and sound – perhaps a natural development from having a concert pianist for a mother. But his spoken language and mobility skills lagged behind. WAFTB’s Daniel Kish started working with Ethan from the age of two when his family lived in Vancouver, and also after they returned to Scotland. When Ethan was 10 and freshly accepted as the first blind pupil at the highly esteemed St. Mary’s Music School, Daniel returned for a refresher course of sorts to help Ethan use FlashSonar™  at this new environment.

Ethan’s musical abilities as a performer and composer continue to evolve and astound, while his Perceptual Navigation abilities evolve on a parallel track. The challenge for Ethan is bringing a sense of order to his ‘perceptual universe’ so that his navigational skills can catch up to a balanced level of focus with his musical skills, a process his mother Larinda credits Daniel with making great progress on.

Learn more about Ethan David Loch. #BlindNotBroken.

The Perceptual Journey of Ethan Loch. Image shows Daniel Kish and Larinda Loch working with Ethan at the age of two.

Ruben Graham-Morris

You don’t need sight to become Batboy!

Ruben Graham-Morris of Birmingham, England was born blind, and was diagnosed at eight months with the genetic condition Leber’s congenital amaurosis which damages the retina. It’s the part of the eye that detects light and color and Ruben’s case was especially severe, meaning he would never see.

His mother Trudie learned that WAFTB’s Daniel Kish was in England, holding a Perceptual Navigation workshop in Dorset for Common Sense, a charity formed by the parents of one of his other students. Trudie told the Daily Mail online newspaper, “I knew I wanted Ruben to learn echolocation. It gave me renewed hope for his future.” Since then, Daniel, known in world-wide media as ‘the real life Bat Man’, has been working with Ruben on and off over the years, and Ruben has taken to dressing up as ‘Batboy’. Trudie wants to take Ruben to the U.S. for more training with Daniel and has set up a fundraiser at GoFundMe.

Learn more about Ruben Graham-Morris. #BlindNotBroken.

The superhero spirit of Ruben. Photo image shows 9 year-ol Ruben Graham-Morris of Birmingham, England held aloft in the arms of his mother Trudie. Ruben is dressed in a kids' Batman costume.

Little Ran

You don’t need sight to ‘rise up’ and bring joy to a family!

“Our daughter, Ólöf Halla Ran, is two and a half years old. I don´t want to say that she is multidisabled because she is so much more , a happy, funny, determinant, strong and joyful little girl.

So, I prefer to say that she is challenged with multidisability. She is diagnosed with CP, cortical visual impairment, hearing impairment (deaf in one ear) and developmental delay.

We adopted her from China at the age of 10 months. After the initial shock of knowing that she was challenged with disability and not just understimulation from her stay at the orphanage, we were full of hope and sure that this little girl would rise up to all her challenges.

One of her Chinese names when we adopted her was ‘RAN’.  Ran means ‘to rise up’ and we honestly believed that she would rise up with our help . . . Little by little fear and worry started to replace the hope in our hearts . . .We were unconsciously preparing for the worst and that affected our work with her and what we expected of her.

I don´t know if you realize the big impact you have made with your visit to Iceland. Thank you for giving us our hope back and believing that anything is possible!”

The Mother of Ólöf Halla Ran

Learn more about Daniel Kish. #BlindNotBroken

Image shows Daniel Kish kneeling behind and supporting Little Ran as she stands and leans against a cupboard door with her navigation cane leaning against her arm.
Daniel Kish introduces Little Ran to FlashSonar and a custom-sized navigation cane. Photo shows Daniel kneeling on a carpeted play area as Little Ran lies on her belly while Daniel positions a large plastic bowl by her face to introduce her to the concept of echoes.

Humoody Jauda Smith

You don’t need sight to excel at Academics and Sports.

Humoody Smith was two when he was shot in the face and blinded by insurgents in Iraq. His mother survived and felt Humoody would have a better future in the United States because of the harsh treatment of disabled persons in Iraq.

Fast-forward 12 years and Humoody is thriving with his adoptive family in Washington State, achieving entry to the gifted academic program at his school, excelling at competitive wrestling, and scoring as the long snapper for his school football team.

His American parents Randy and Julie Smith and their family have embraced Humoody in a loving environment that’s enabled him to become fearless, and a fierce junior advocate of WAFTB’s ‘No Limits’ philosophy.

Learn more about Humoody Smith. #BlindNotBroken.

The Courage and Grace of Humoody Smith. Image shows Humoody jumping and throwing a basketball at a basket with the ocean in the background.
Nine Network Australia learns the benefits of FlashSonar™ for Humoody Smith. Image shows a large video thumbnail of Humoody Smith being interviewed by a reporter at a park with the skyline of Los Angeles in the background.

John Pak

You don’t need sight to reach for the stars.

John Pak’s life-changing moment came when he was 11 years old and started training with Daniel Kish in FlashSonar™ Echolocation.

He applied WAFTB’s ‘No Limits’ philosophy on his way to earning a college degree, serving his country with honor in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, and reaching for the stars at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center where he champions inclusion by assisting disabled persons in obtaining gainful employment at Goddard.

John is also the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of World Access For The Blind, and we’re also grateful for his inspiring example of service. Hear John explain at TEDx Cambridge what kind of difference our FlashSonar™ Echolocation made in his life.

Learn more about John Pak. #BlindNotBroken.

NASA's John Pak champions inclusion. Photo of John Pak is shown with the NASA Goddard Space Center logo.

Shawn Marsolais

You don’t need sight to be a passionate advocate!

Shawn Marsolais has been that and more for visually-impaired and blind children and their families for almost two decades.

Born with Retinitis Pigmentosa, Shawn’s vision progressively deteriorated. Since the age of 18, she’s had less than two percent of her vision and has fully adjusted to life as a blind person, a blind athlete at the Paralympics and in Canadian swimming, and as a blind parent.

After training with WAFTB’s Daniel Kish in Vancouver, Shawn was inspired to provide services and support for partially-sighted and blind children, youth and their families by starting Blind Beginnings. In the video below from AccessibleMedia, Shawn explains the benefits she gained from FlashSonar™ at a workshop she invited Daniel to in Vancouver, Canada.

Learn more about Shawn Marsolais. #BlindNotBroken.

Shawn Marsolais' Blind Beginnings. Image of Shawn Marsolais in discussion with students around a conference table at Blind Beginnings's youth leadership group.

Julee-anne Bell

You don’t need sight to earn a Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting while raising two boys!

Julee-anne is the epitome of ‘it’s never too late’. Though well-accomplished as a choral soloist and teacher, as well as a hands-on mother, there was one vital accomplishment that had eluded her.

Blind from birth, Julee-anne had a lifelong dependency on being guided around by someone else – most usually, her husband Thomas.

That is, until what she calls ‘Eight Days That Changed My Life’ as posted on Huffington Post Australia Edition. Julee-anne discovered the work of Daniel Kish and her ‘Perceptual Liberation’ soon began.

On the Australian program ‘Insight’, (in the video below), she explains how she now gets around.

Learn more about Julee-anne Bell. #BlindNotBroken

Julee-anne Bell's Perceptual Freedom. Image shows Julee-anne Bell walking in a park in Australia using FlashSonar Echolocation and a navigation cane.

Chris Anderson: Curator of TED

You don’t need sight to make a huge impact with your words!

Daniel Kish delivers a warmly stirring and personal perspective on his own life, blindness, and helping others to navigate their challenges.

He is listed as one of the Top Ten Talks from the TED2015 main stage, and featured in TED’s online Ideas Magazine.

“THANK YOU. you were wonderful! You’ve got an amazingly compelling way of speaking — curiosity and intelligence and interest oozing out of every phrase that you utter. It’s so listenable to! You talk as if you’re alive and thinking through every word, and I absolutely love that!” – Chris Anderson – TED Curator. See and hear Chris and Daniel chat at the 10:53 mark in the video below.

Learn more about Daniel Kish. #BlindNotBroken

Daniel Kish a Top Ten Talk at TED. Image shows Daniel onstage with TED Curator Chris Anderson.

BE THE SPARK THAT LIGHTS-UP MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR BLIND PERSONS TO SEE WITH SOUND

Global media coverage of our work has led to a waiting list of many blind people who want to learn our FlashSonar™ Echolocation, and many blind and sighted people who want to train with us to become Perceptual Navigation Instructors. 

You can be the spark of opportunity that helps to create jobs right here in the USA.

As a California-registered 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization for 15 years, World Access For The Blind knows it takes a lot of sparks to light-up the darkness.

Let your donation be the spark of opportunity for a blind person to light-up their world by learning to 

SEE WITH SOUND.

Thank you!

PLEASE MAKE A SECURE ONLINE DONATION VIA THE ENCRYPTED SITES OF OUR LISTED PARTNERS

Square. Donate to World Access For The Blind via Apple Pay, Android Pay, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discovery.
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CrowdRise. Start your own fundraiser for World Access For The Blind. Help us teach more blind persons to see with sound via CrowdRise.

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