Daniel Kish | 5x TED/TEDx Speaker, Activator of Change,  Inspirational Real-Life Bat Man, Motivational Blind Visionary, Global Panelist, Modern Day Explorer, Founder and President of World Access for the Blind

Daniel Kish

5x TED/TEDx Speaker, Activator of Change, Inspirational Real-Life Bat Man, Motivational Blind Visionary, Global Panelist, Modern Day Explorer, Founder and President of World Access for the Blind

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Daniel Kish
Featured Keynote Programs

Blind Vision

Daniel tells the story of how restriction, limitation, lack of freedom, and fear can cripple people with sight and without. His presentation guides the audience through the inspiring story of innovation and hope, and how lives are being changed.

Sample Presentation and Workshop Topics

Among the many monikers bestowed on him, Daniel refers to himself as an activational presenter, because his audiences go away more than delighted and inspired - activated with a deeper purpose to improve themselves, and help to support and activate others. "What we think and how we feel is critical, but the end product ultimately depends on the actions we take." Daniel's lifelong process of adapting successfully to his blindness, helping thousands of others, blind and sighted, to adapt to their challenges, applying lessons learned from that process to growing a business, and his prolific world travels and extensive exchanges with noted experts from many disciplines positions him to present engagingly and informatively on a broad range of topics. Generally, his themes revolve around activating ourselves and others around us to adapt to any condition, and navigating any challenge by dynamically identifying and managing the rich network of resources and supports within and around us. He presence his message in practical terms through Keynotes, seminars, and extended workshops designed to activate self improvement, improved productivity, and improved networking.

Activating Creativity and Positive Transformation
Lessons learned from blind people who have learned to see.

Creativity can be defined as bringing something new or distinctive into being. Positive transformation can be defined as catalyzing the evolution of something into something more. In order to bring something new into being, we must renew ourselves. Newness created within us spreads from us into the world around us. The answer lies in activating renewal and change in our own brain.

Dynamic Network Navigating
The Step Beyond Action Is Interaction

Seeing is freeing. It is the drive for personal freedom to understand the world around us and our place in it that lies at the heart of development for all of us. This is no less true for blind people. Blind people must optimize their senses to adapt to what we cannot see, and strategically see through others much of what we cannot see for ourselves. For blind people, freedom transcends independence and self-reliance to include active networking and interactive exchange. Blind people become experts at navigating networks, and using networks to navigate. Actively directed interactions and skilled management of elaborate networks of support and resources are the building blocks of action and knowing.

The Most Dangerous, Most Debilitating Form of Blindness Is Blindness to Our Own Blindness

Fear of the dark, of the unknown, lies at the root of all fear, and lurks at the core of man's most primal nature. Sighted people tend to deal with this fear, not by embracing or passing beyond it, but more often by filling the world with artificial light. While this solution has merit, it doesn't address the fear, it only defers it. No amount of light can make all of the unknown go away. What lies around the corner? What's going to happen tomorrow? What lies under the bed? Blind people face the unknown undaunted every day. The unknown can become known through expanding our own awareness such as through enhanced hearing and touch, and by strategically accessing and applying the knowledge and awareness of others. What remains unknown is respected, not feared. When we learn to embrace the unknown, we neutralize the root of all fear.

When Blind People Learn to See, Sighted People Want to Learn to See Better

Blind people learning to see through expanded sensory awareness and skilled networking exemplifies the immense capacity within us all to become activated to see more clearly with less fear to navigate any type of challenge through any form of darkness to discoveries unimagined. It is when we raise our heads beyond the walls of our blindness box that we behold a larger world more full of opportunity and richness than we might have imagined. If blind people can learn to see in the dark, then surely sighted people can learn to see better in the light.

Let Us All Challenge What We Think We Know

Most of what we think we know is based on assumptions that have been programmed into us by a society which doesn't necessarily have our best interest at heart. This blinds us to new possibilities, limits us to charted territory, and enslaves us to the dictates of others. If we challenge what we think we know, we can break out of this dependency conditioning and touch what is real.

Challenge Is Food to the Brain

Imagine what blind people can learn to do when we apply every moment of every day to navigate the darkened challenges of life and livelihood. Most of us avoid challenging ourselves too much. We tend to rest in our blindness box, and repeat the same routines. But every time we present a challenge to our brain, our brain responds by adapting and growing.

Running into a Pole is a Drag, but Never being Allowed to Run into a Pole is a Disaster. Pain is Part of the Price for Freedom

Running into a metaphorical (or actual) pole may cause a superficial injury that will heal quickly and be forgotten. Never being allowed can cause the deepest and most pervasive harm that is not so easily healed or forgotten.

Love Nourishes Freedom; Fear Imposes Limitation

My parents knew the difference between love and fear. Fear immobilizes us in the face of challenge. My parents knew that blindness would face me with significant challenges. I was not raised with fear. They put my freedom first before all else, because that is what love does. My parents were fiercely protective of my freedom. I learned by moving around quite freely, allowed to choose and direct for myself the help and support I needed. I was held to strict standards, but also given liberty to learn from consequences. How often do we try to insulate ourselves or our loved ones from opportunities for learning and growing? We may tell ourselves that this is out of love, but really it is often motivated by fear. When we work with parents, we ask them to try to stay very clear about their motives, and ask themselves this question, "Is the action I'm taking or the reaction I'm having bound to further or inhibit my child's freedom?" We can just as easily ask that same question of ourselves.

Freedom Cannot be Granted by Others; It Must Be Earned for Ourselves

Freedom is the ability to direct one's own life and make one's own choices responsibly, to conduct one's affairs and achieve a quality of life comparable to one's peers. The most important thing to know about freedom is that it isn't something that's given by external forces. It isn't something that is granted; it's something that one takes responsibility to find and claim. So if freedom is granted, it isn't freedom, because it is only granted with conditions.

Impressions of Blindness are Far More Threatening to Blind People Than Blindness Itself

I do not feel vulnerable or unaware or ignorant or needy or diminished in any way, shape, or form. Challenged? Yes - challenged far more by social prejudice than the physical limitations of blindness.

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