Today's show is all about exploring the world without limitation — specifically for those who are blind. It's about breaking down stereotypes and empowering people with knowledge, both the sighted and the sight-impaired. It's also about celebrating those who are lighting the way for blind explorers everywhere — some through ground-breaking global advocacy and education, some by founding innovative travel companies and others simply by example, heading out on their first solo journey as a blind person. Listen in.
(Feature—The Year of the Rooster: 00:57; Daniel Kish: 14:31; Amar Latif: 33:28)
Feature Contributor Kerry Kijewski
Kerry Kijewski is a writer, blogger and traveler living in Woodstock, Ontario. Kerry is also blind. As our feature contributor in this show, Kerry shares her experience traveling to Mexico on her first solo trip. Learn more about Kerry and her writing below.
Daniel Kish — Founder and President of World Access for the Blind
Daniel Kish is a remarkable man and world traveler who happens to be blind.
He is the lead founder and President of World Access for the Blind. His organization empowers blind students and educators with a self-directed, no-limits approach along with expertise in perceptual development and positive psychology. WAFTB promotes global public education on all that his organization teaches, as well as advocating for positive change in the connection between sighted and sight-impaired people around the world. He has traveled solo to over 35 countries.
Daniel holds Master’s degrees in both Developmental Psychology and Special Education, emphasizing perceptual development, family dynamics, and children at risk.
He also holds two national certifications in Orientation and Mobility, COMS and NOMC. Daniel is the first totally blind individual to obtain both certifications.
Daniel has been voted one of the top 10 speakers at TED2015 and PopTech’s ‘Talk of the Day’, and featured in over 150 major publications and broadcasts reaching over 2 billion people around the globe. He has served thousands of clients from Fortune 500 corporations to individuals.
We're honoured Daniel took the time to join us on Native Traveler to talk about breaking down barriers to the transformative powers of travel for the blind.
Amar Latif — Founder of Traveleyes
Amar Latif founded Traveleyes in 2004 to make the world more accessible for blind and visually impaired travelers. After loosing his sight as a teenager and becoming a successful adult who wanted to travel, Amar found limited options — few tour operators would accommodate a solo blind traveler. Build it or do without was a guiding principle of Amar's approach to life. He opted for the former.
Today, Traveleyes brings together blind and sighted travelers from all over the world. Sighted travelers are asked to share their eyesight by describing the world around them to a blind partner and in return, the sighted traveler receives up to 50% off the travel experience. No experience with assisting the blind is necessary — all training is provided. Blind travelers may book a holiday with freedom and independence, among a group of like-minded explorers.
Traveleyes offers over 60 wide-ranging travel experiences around the world. Traveleyes won three 2017 British Travel Awards — Best Escorted Tours Holiday Company, Best Escorted Adventure Holiday Company and Best Singles Holiday Company.
We're grateful to Amar for sharing his story and his inclusive vision of travel on our show.