Health and Medicine

How blind people gain an enhanced sense of hearing

Reader's Digest U.K. - August, 2015
by Helen Cowan

"When the brain is deprived of sight through blindness can it reorganise to respond to hearing instead? Echolocators remain a mystery but are helping many blind people see again."

No Sight, No Limits: How the Blind Learn to See

Brain Development and Learning Conference - July 25, 2013

Daniel Kish

"Under-development of self-direction seems common but unnecessary among blind people, and often leads to passive dependence and under achievement. We demonstrate and discuss conditions that foster or disrupt the development of the process of self directed achievement, as well as methods for remediation. We show that self directed achievement is optimized by natural perceptual engagement, rather than structured skills repertoire. Emphasis is given to the activation of the imaging system as suggested by recent brain scan studies. Hands on demonstrations of FlashSonar imaging and its application to freedom of movement are provided."

OHE: Symposium on Optimal Healing Environments

December, 2012

Daniel Kish presents on optimizing healing environments for blind people

Echolocation Helps Blind People Navigate Everyday Life

GE Healthy Outlook - August 5, 2011
Jane Langille

A perspective on echolocation as a tool for daily life.

FlashSonar: Surprising Solutions You Never Knew About; Brian Bushway

CBS: The Doctors - August 28, 2009

" After losing his sight at age 14, Brian learned to use echo location to navigate the world. The same principles apply to that of the sonar bats and dolphins use."

Activating Creativity: Lessons learned from the blind who have learned to see

Proctor And Gamble World Design Conference - October, 2013
Daniel Kish, Keynote

Abstract: Creativity and the brain: definition of creativity, bringing something new or distinctive into being. In order for us to bring something new into being, we must be able to renew ourselves, to bring something new in ourselves and from ourselves into being. Newness created within us spreads from us into the world around us. The answer lies in changing and renewing our brain.

The brain is the center of everything we do. If we maintain rigid paterns in our lives and in our personalities, then our brain remains static and stagnant. Not only does this thwart innovation and creativity, but it leads to early brain atrophy. By creating newness and freshness to our lives and our relationships and our characters every day, our brains remain fresh, constantly building and foraging new connections, organic and alive. This is where innovation and creativity is activated. So, what happens to the brain when we engage it in a whole new way of experiencing the world? We took blindness, which would seem intuitively devoid of positive quality and purpose, and we transformed blindness into positive quality and purpose. In the case of blind people, by activating the creative process within the brain's of our blind students, the brain literally rewires itself to find another way to see. This is confirmed by brain scans. To do this, we borrowed from brain science and experiences with hundreds of blind students in over three dozen countries to develop and implement what we call the "Freedom Formula". Among these elements is a process of FlashSonar, which entails teaching people to "see" using sound the way bats do. We teach the whole brain how to see, even if the visual system isn't receiving a visual input. We create new linkages, we refresh the system with new connections through extensions of sound, touch, and active social engagement.

When I visited the Gamble house, I was able to explore through touch and hearing the meticulous and ingenious attention to design detail, borrowed from cultures around the world - nothing about status quo there, but only brilliant newness at every step and turn, brought together in one place from every corner of the globe. With this newness and freshness, Gamble helped build a fortune 50 company. More than likely, he had a very activated brain. I learned to see, and I have taught hundreds of others to see. I also must have an activated brain. We can all have activated brains. Through personal stories, live demonstrations with audience participation, and videos that dynamically illustrate the scientific and educational nature and results of our transformative program, this audience will enjoy a personally creative experience. It is when we are able to raise our heads beyond the walls of our blindness boxes that we get a glimpse of life's greatest luster. Notice, I call them "blindness boxes" rather than comfort zones. Then, we can make educated, informed choices about whether to step out of our blindness boxes into a much larger world more full of opportunity and richness, and to share our own creativity with others. If we blind people can learn to see in the dark, then surely sighted people can learn to see better in the light.

Sound Matters

RTE Radio 1: Documentary on One - December, 2011

"A journey into sound and how it plays such an influential, yet often undervalued role in our lives - We explore the many ways sound interacts with us, and how we interact with it." Includes interview of Daniel Kish by Peter Stone, international platform speaker, consultant, and researcher."

Schoolgirl left blind after surgeon fails to spot brain tumour - May, 2011

A tragic yet hopeful article about one of our students whom we first saw in 2007, for whom we recently provided expert evidence in support of her case against the medical facility that mis-diagnosed her. We wish her all the best.

Brain Scan Studies and Perspectives in Neural Science

Includes articles about how the brain processes advanced echolocation. General findings illustrate the primary role of the visual cortex in echo perception and construction of mental images. Includes several papers co-authored by Daniel Kish.

Sight for the Blind: The Growing Success of Seeing with Sound

SPIEGEL ONLINE - Spring, 2011
By Manfred Dworschak, Translated from the German by Josh Ward

"[Juan] Ruiz, the flash-sonar trainer, was also a novice at one point. He learned the technique from Daniel Kish, a California native and pioneer in echolocation for the blind. As a young man, Kish climbed steep mountain trails alone, guided only by a walking stick and the echoes bouncing off his surroundings in response to his clicks. He learned to recognize shrubs, overhanging rocks, fences and sign posts (whose carved words he could then read with his fingers). His resourcefulness has already been documented by numerous television crews, and he goes by the nickname "Batman."
"Traditional German bureaucrats have a hard time figuring out how to deal with blind people who venture off into the wildnerness by themselves. They can easily dismiss people like Daniel Kish -- with his "Batman" nickname and "No limits" motto -- as a wonder boy, a strange talent bordering on the supernatural. In Germany, there has long been a friendly disinterest in flash sonar. It's a useful skill if someone can master it, they say, but what good is it to the average blind person?"