Juan Ruiz. Photo of Juan leading a group of blind students along a street in Bangkok, Thailand.
'You guys can see with your eyes, and , we can see with our ears.' -Juan Ruiz



Juan Ruiz is another proud legacy of the global efforts by Daniel Kish to educate and liberate blind persons.

Blind from birth, and also one of our earliest students, Juan has grown into one of our world-class Instructors.

He’s the first FlashSonar™ graduate to teach outside the U.S. and is the first blind official Perceptual Navigation Instructor in Europe.


Senior Perceptual Navigation Instructor | Multicultural Visioneer | Activational Presenter

Instructor de Percepción de Navegación | Unlace Multicultural | Presentador de Activación


Blind from birth, Juan Ruiz was born and raised in Mexico, later immigrating to California and proudly becoming an American citizen.

From a young age, Juan was very curious about the world around him and had a thirst for knowledge. He loved learning and reading and working with computers.

Always athletic and competitive, Juan became a California Interscholastic Federation WrestlingChampion in high school.

He liked tinkering with things, such as working on cars –  inside and out, and later developed this into a hobby, culminating in his restoration of a 1956 Ford Special.

Juan started learning FlashSonar™ Echolocation at the age of 12 from Daniel Kish and went on to help found the TeamBat program, which led to the formation of World Access For The Blind.

Juan has the distinction of being the first Perceptual Navigation Instructor and FlashSonar™ Coach to be trained and hired by World Access For The Blind.

This has allowed Juan to indulge his love of outdoor hiking and travel to over a dozen countries on four continents.

Juan is based out of Vienna, Austria with his wife, Nina, and travels to the U.S.  at the school breaks to spend time with his sons Andrew and Matthew.

Photo: Juan Ruiz rides a bicycle in Bangkok, Thailand.

Juan Ruiz was the first Perceptual Navigation Instructor and FlashSonar Coach to be trained and hired by World Access for the Blind.

Among his many accomplishments, Juan has/was:

– Provided translation services and coaching assistance for the first international World Access for the Blind workshop in Mexico
– Set a Guinness World Record by invitation in Italy for blind bicycling, then broke that record also by Guinness invitation in Turkey
– The first blind echolocator to be featured on National Geographic TV, which led to several subsequent NatGeo programs and articles.

Juan has been a featured subject in multiple TV News segments and documentaries including:

– Discovery’s More Than Human, Stan Lee’s Real Super Humans, and Penn & Teller
– BBC’s Super Human Challenge
– The Jeff Probst Show
– Don Francisco Presenta
– Primer Impacto
– ABCNews.com
– National Geographic TV’s Humanly Impossible
– Two Japanese documentaries with a third in the works
– Multiple TV programs including Ripley’s Believe It or Not; RTL: Spiegel TV Magazin; Deutch Prisma; Arte Documentary; Fox News documentary (Seeing with Sound); HD Net’s World Report (Blind as a Bat: Seeing without Eyesight); CNN and CNN International: Vital Signs with Dr. Sanjay Gupta;

– Various Italian, Austrian, Russian, British, German, and Chinese news and entertainment programs
– Written about in multiple popular periodicals including Men’s Journal, Orange County Register (several occasions), Mountain Bike Action Magazine, Bicycle Magazine, and a variety of Kenyan and Austrian newspapers
– First blind instructor to conduct seminars and workshops to higher education classes on rehab and mobility preparation in Austria and Italy
– First blind instructor to co-present a mobility workshop for the European German School for the Blind Headmasters Conference
– First blind instructor to be appointed by the Austrian Government’s Ministry of Education to provide professional development training to all Mobility Specialists working with children throughout Austria
– Involved as co-instructor in the first South American research project to assess the viability of Perceptual Navigation and FlashSonar instruction

Juan is working on developing additional qualifications to be able to provide regional management of World Access For The Blind’s services in Europe, Asia, West Africa, and Latin America.

After graduation from high school, Juan Ruiz spent a year as an Instructional Assistant for primary school children in the Anaheim City School District, in California.

He also spent two years as a full-time construction and landscaping Supervisor, and seven years as a part-time Assistive Technology Instructor.

Presently, Juan is a Perceptual Navigation Instructor for World Access for the Blind, a Los Angeles area-based 501(c)(3) Non-Profitorganization that teaches Perceptual Navigation and sensory awareness.

In addition to his more than 12 years with the organization, working with blind students from all backgrounds, Juan also serves as a teacher for sighted mobility instructors around the world on the use of FlashSonar™ (a specialized form of Active Echolocation) and Perceptual Navigation strategies.

In these capacities, Juan has logged over 2,500 hours of service, assisting with and providing professional development workshops, seminars for higher education, private trainings for students and families, and technical consulting for academic science and research.

He is looking to increase the number of Activational Presentations for the education and enterprise sectors, especially for young people, to educate blind students about FlashSonar™, and to encourage blind and sighted students in various countries to become Perceptual Navigation Instructors.

Photo: Juan Ruiz leads a group of blind coaching students through a square in Bangkok, Thailand. He is clapping his hands to determine the size of the open space.

Photo banner shows a black and white lphoto of World Access For The Blind Perceptual Navigation Instructor Juan Ruiz playing soccer as a teen.



Juan Ruiz is our Multicultural Visioneer based out of Vienna. As the first blind official Perceptual Navigation Instructor in Europe, his Activational Presentations in Austria, Chile, Germany, Kenya, Japan, Mexico and more have helped to earn international credibility for our organization.

Wide banner photo shows World Access For The Blind Perceptual Navigation Instructor Juan Ruiz cycling, shot from a GoPro camera mounted on the handlebars.
Video thumbnail shows World Access For The Blind Perceptual Navigation Instructor Juan Ruiz riding a bicycle in a TV studio as he breaks his own previous Guinness World Record for fastest bicycle slalom by a blind person on the Guinness TV program in Turkey. Click the thumbnail to see and hear the video on the Turkish website.
Video thumbnail shows a screen grab of World Access For The Blind Perceptual Navigation Instructor Juan Ruiz at the completion of his bicycle slalom in a TV studio in Italy as he sets his first Guinness World Record. Click the thumbnail to go to the video.
Juan Ruis, History Channel en Español. Vide thumbnail shows Juan riding a bicycle in a car park.
Video thumbnail shows World Access For The Blind Perceptual Navigation Instructor Juan Ruiz appearing onEl hormiguero 3.0 in Spain. Click the thumbnail to see and hear the video on youtube.
Media: TV|Video: BBC Superhuman Challenge: Juan Ruiz squares-off against a sighted competitor.
Book Juan Ruiz for an Activational Workshop.
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Whether on his own, setting Guinness World Records, or as part of the World Access For The Blind Team, Juan’s FlashSonar™ clicks have echoed globally in many languages via the top international TV & radio networks, including ABC, BBC, Discovery, Fox, Fuji TV, Galileo TV, National Geographic, NHK, RTTL, Univision and many more.

Media: TV-VIDEO: Galileo TV: German-language report on Juan Ruiz teaching FlashSonar in Germany.Image: Host in-studeio stands in front of a video screen image of Juan instructing a student.
History Channel - Juan Ruiz video thumbnail shows World Access For The Blind Perceptual Navigation instructor Juan Ruiz setting up a shot with the camera crew as he sits on his mountain bike. Click on the thumbnail to go to the video.
Video thumbnail shows World Access For The Blind Perceptual Navigation Instructor Juan Ruiz being interviewed on the Jeff Probst Show. Click on the thumbnail to go to the video.
Video thumbnail from Penn and Teller-Juan Ruiz shows Juan wearing a helmet while riding his mountain bike on a street. CLick on the thumbnail to go to the video.
Video thumbnail from Ripley's 'Believe It Or Not' TV program shows World Access For The Blind Perceptual Navigation instructor Juan Ruiz walking through a mall parking lot. CLick on the thumbnail to go to the video.
Media: TV|Video: NAT-GEO TV: 'Humanly Impossible':Juan Ruiz is put to the test with Flashsonar.



One of the proudest legacies of the decades-long efforts by Daniel Kish to educate and liberate blind persons from the traditional cycles of isolated dependency, has been the team of Perceptual Navigation Instructors he’s assembled from his students who have grown-up with FlashSonar™ Echolocation and it’s NO LIMITS philosophy, and how they are paying it forward around the world.

Visioneers Media: FlashSonar Textbook. Preview and order the definitive textbook about learning to see with sound. Image: Cover of "Echolocation and FlashSonar" by Daniel Kish and Jo Hook, featuring a photo of Daniel Kish speaking at the Global Ted Conference is set against a photo of Chapter 1-What is Echolocation?


When it’s a beautiful day, our students see it in a new way.

Our scientifically-proven FlashSonar™ echolocation lights-up the brain’s Visual Cortex – the part normally used for vision – with audible spatial feedback, like like flashes of light in the dark lighting-up the surrounding environment.

We operate entirely on donations.

Be the flash of opportunity by donating towards a FlashSonar™ Tuition Scholarship for a blind child, teen or adult, so we can

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Our blind instructors with Masters Degrees provide services that are “ahead of the curve” from traditional blindness institutions, such as:


Did you know that 90% of a child’s brain is developed before the age of 5? Even some “developed” countries won’t teach blind children orientation, mobility and cane navigation until the age of 7. Do you realize how much developmental time is lost? We teach sonic and tactile awareness as early as possible and even put Perception canes in their hand as early as a year old.


FlashSonar clicks+Audible Awareness+Perception Cane activates the Visual Cortex, training the brain to rewire to develop SonarVision.


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