Blind Leading the Blind: How Berkeley Alums are Designing an Inclusive World

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Accessible campus map being used with a LiveScribe smart pen that reads out the map's information.

Berkeley students and alums who are blind share their experiences while attending Berkeley and after graduation, in the workplace.  A common thread to their success is interaction with blind mentors, through building a community of blind technologists in the Bay area and support from groups like the San Francisco Lighthouse, Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research and Berkely's Alternative Media Center.  In this article, Berkeley alums share about their experiences in their unique fields.  Josh Miele, a technologist who is blind, creates maps that talk, YouTube videos that can speak and electronic gloves that can text. He is currently working on a Blind Arduino Project, an open source software that enables blind users to write the code to interact with electronics - a way for blind kids to create robots and have access to the same science opportunities as their sighted peers.  Chris Downey is a blind architect who designs universally accessible buildings.  Ann Wai-Yee Kwong who emigrated from Hong Kong and who is also blind, discusses her challenges and successes while learning to read Chinese characters.

Blind Leading the Blind: How Berkeley Alums are Designing an Inclusive World article