Media: Radio. Our FlashSonar clicks have echoed across Radio Networks & Stations worldwide. Image: A Montage of logos from NPR, BBC Radio and more are interspersed with the titles of interviews and photos of radio hosts and WAFTB staff.

NPR: National Public Radio Network (United States)

Articles and Differing Perspectives About The NPR Interviews 

We’ve collected a good number of articles that further the conversation about the issues raised in the NPR interviews with Daniel Kish, Julee-anne Bell and others, including one that takes the process to task under the banner of ‘Inspiration Porn’.

You can read through the collection that we’ve gathered below:

Do Low Expectations Limit The Ability of Someone Who Is Blind?

Braille Works – January 28, 2015

“The National Public Radio series, This American Life, highlights Daniel Kish. It includes data showing how one’s expectations can alter the outcome of lab rats. While the stories seem to be unrelated, this piece will forever change the expectations you have of others.”

Teaching Independence: Let’s get to work!

Thomas Marshall Does It All – January 12, 2015 By Jessica Kovacs, Tommy’s Mom

This warm and thought-provoking site chronicles a Mother’s journey with her young son, and includes many blindness-related resources:

“Did you listen to … NPR’s This American Life, Batman? Well you need to. For some kids things come easy. Things don’t come so easy for Tommy, unless you are talking about music. He’s naturally tuned into that but the rest is hard work.”

“Every time I read about Daniel Kish I think about Tom and where he is with mobility and daily living skills. He’s making progress, but I know he’s got a long way to go. It’s not fair to compare people, but there are general developmental guidelines that we can follow. I know we have to work really hard in the next year and a half before he’s ready for public school, because right now he just isn’t ready.
… Sometimes I want to cry because I know he’s capable … He needs to be pushed. I can’t push all on my own. Everyone has to do it. That means no more lazy days! … I know there’s more work to be done right now. … This is the start of a new push for Tom’s independence. I know it will not make me popular with everyone but it’s time to get serious. Tommy is five and he’s been cruising for way too long. He is capable of much more and we have to help him get there. We are doing him a disservice by not being firm. … So get ready friends and family. It’s time to get to work!”

Expecting Greatness: A Win Win Win

EXPLO – January 26, 2015

“In a recent podcast of the popular National Public Radio show “This American Life,” guest hosts Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller explored how expectations can and do shape thoughts, behavior, and achievement. Focusing on the story of Daniel Kish, a man who is blind and uses echolocation as a way to “see” the world and accomplish things beyond societal and cultural expectations, Spiegel and Miller demonstrate just how powerful expectations can be.”

‘Invisibilia’ Covered Blind People Who Can “See” & It Turns Out There Are Plenty of Potential Batmen Out There

Bustle – February 9, 2015
By Kayla Hawkins

“One of the most fascinating stories they’ve covered so far is “How to Become a Real Life Batman,” which covered Daniel Kish, a blind man and activist who uses and teaches echolocation as a technique to assist his fellow blind people gain more independence”
“humans using echolocation isn’t limited just to Kish, either. … blind people have been discovering different ways to “see” since ancient times. … The aim isn’t to “cure” blindness, but to give blind people more options for getting through their lives.”

Daniel Kish

Anyhooo… – January 13, 2015

“You May Not Need Eyes to See.” (WHAT?!!)
“The focus of the article is Daniel Kish- a blind man who doesn’t “feel” blind. Who hikes solo, who rides a bicycle solo, who travels solo, who lives an independent life. Who uses echolocation with a series of clicks to find his way in this world.”

Should journalists care how their stories are shared?

Rotten in Demark – January 28, 2015
by Michael Hobbes

A Blind Professional’s Take on the Batman Episode, “This American Life”

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AFB Blog: American Foundation® for the Blind – 1/14/2015
by Joe Strechay

It’s Not About the Bike: Expectations and Blindness

Adventures in low vision – February 1, 2015

This (Ableist) American Life

the ampersandwich – January 15, 2015

A perspective on themes and sentiments that are believed to be ablest in This American Life, focuses on how Daniel Kish and other subjects are portrayed in an ablest fashion.

Amazing Grace

THE DIGITAL AGE – February 17, 2015
By Mike D

A spiritual perspective on This American Life’s Bat Man. About Daniel Kish: “his mother was determined that her son live life to the fullest. … she let him play and run around the neighborhood like any normal kid. One day, … Daniel’s mom bought her blind son a bike. He was out, cruising the streets, making his clicking sounds, when he encountered a hill. … He went down the hill. Faster and faster, then…whack! … face first into a light pole. “Blood everywhere,” Daniel recalls. This … really surprised me, and I’m certain would confound many parents – Daniel’s mom did not keep Daniel indoors, where he would be safe and free from harm. Instead, she gave him another bike!!!” “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now I’m found, Was blind but now I see.

Invisibilia: The Blind Can See

Ana Melikian, Ph.D – April 30, 2015

“I have to warn you, that this hour-long Invisibilia episode can blow your mind, and really make you think about how we limit ourselves and others by accepting expectations without questioning other possibilities.”

Inspiration Porn – the second best thing about the internet

Occasional Everything – February 6, 2015
By Joseph Phelan

An eloquent and respectful commentary on the social twists of objectifying disabled people, with reference to TED presenter Stella Young, and the NPR Bat Man episodes.
“Inspiration Porn is the objectification of disabled people and their experiences for the benefit of others. This objectification, … dehumanizes disabled people turning them into objects to be admired for feats non-disabled people do often without thinking.”
“The devil here isn’t the feeling of inspiration of seeing someone do an amazing athletic feat (regardless of disability), it is that inspiration porn obscures the fact that it is society that disables people creating barriers to participation, some of those barriers being our own assumptions and expectations.”

“This underlying assumption leads to the cultural construction of individual disability as limiting, when in fact we have constructed our society to meet a normal which is limiting to the participation of people who deviate from that norm.”
“I am asking you to not see disabled people a exceptions to the rule, but as much the rule as you and I, so that we might start to build society that does not disable people’s participation, but instead encourages the participation of all people.”

Unlearning Limitation

Imperfect Spirituality – February 23, 2015
By Polly Campbell

“What we believe, what we learn from others and ourselves and hold tight to, determines in large part what we’ll do and explore and feel. But it doesn’t have to.”
“When Daniel Kish was a kid, nobody told him blind people weren’t supposed to be climbing trees. So he climbed them. Later, when he was older he met plenty of people who freaked when they found out he was riding a bike. But it was too late. By then, he’d already installed the belief that he could ride.”
“But the biggest obstacle he encounters isn’t the at the edge of the unseen precipice, it’s found in the beliefs others hold about what it means to be blind. We are socialized, taught, to believe blind people can’t do what Daniel Kish does.”
“With awareness we can tweak our beliefs about our own capabilities and twist and mold and shape them into beliefs that support us, move us toward a life of passion and possibility. We can follow our curiosities – no matter what our parents say – and discover the beliefs that will inspire us. Those that are helpful. Those that stand for possibility rather than limitation. We can pick those.”

Riding Blind with Daniel Kish

Wheelhouse Oakland – January 16, 2015
by David Archard

“Our caps off to Daniel, for breaking down paradigms—and to Invisibilia, for delving into a story that, elsewhere, has only been covered on its surface. I hope we all strive for greater things from ourselves, and from each other, to create communities of positive support and fulfillment.”

Gifted –Daniel Kish

Embracing Chaos: life with a special needs boy – January 27, 2015
by Wystan Simons

A thought-provoking, heart-warming, and soul-stirring glimpse of a young man named Owen who, through his quiet ways, has subltley “been a conduit for angels to make some critical changes”. I, Daniel Kish, am honoured to be included in this article. Thank you Wystan for sharing this edifying tribute to your son.


WAFTB Online. Image shows online media logos blended with 'selfies' of users.
WAFTB Print. Image shows a collection of print articles about WAFTB from Men's Journal, to Success Magazine, National Geographic and the Los Angeles Times.
WAFTB TV-Video. Image shows logos from some of the international TV networks WAFTB has appeared on against a backdrop of video thumbnails.


Media:Online. Special Report: Assignment Thailand. Image: WAFTB President Daniel Kish leads a group of blind student instructors along a road in Bangkok, Thailand.
MEDIA:Print - Men's Journal Profile of Daniel Kish. Image: Screengrab of page with Men's Journal logo andthtle: The blind man who taught himself to see.
MEDIA: TV|VIDEO: DANIEL KISH VOTED A TOP-TEN TALK AT TED. Image: Daniel Kish, President of World Access For The Blind, stands onstage with the TED logo behind him.


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