Daniel Kish has been sightless since he was a year old. Yet he can mountain bike, navigate the wilderness alone, and recognize a building as far away as 1,000 feet. How? The same way bats can see in the dark. Since his infancy, he has been adapting to his blindness in remarkable ways. He has learned to use what he calls "Flashsonar," or echolocation. He produces a brief, sharp click with his tongue, and the sound waves bounce off every object around him, returning to his ears vastly decreased in volume, but perceivable. Kish has trained himself to hear these slight echoes and to interpret their meaning. Standing on his front step, he can visualize, with an extraordinary degree of precision, the two pine trees on his front lawn and the curb at the edge of his street.
Kish was born with an aggressive form of cancer called retinoblastoma, which attacks the retinas. To save his life, both of his eyes were removed by the time he was 13 months old. Kish is now 44.
Kish and a handful of coworkers run a nonprofit organization called World Access for the Blind, (http://www.worldaccessfortheblind.org) headquartered in Kish’s home. He is not the first blind person to use echolocation, but he’s the only one to meticulously document it, to break it down into its component parts, and to figure out how to teach it. His dream is to help all sight-impaired people see the world as clearly as he does.
What an inspiration this man is, we all have so much potential, anything is possible when we have a dream and the courage to follow it. Live your dream today.