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Thriving Blind Academy

Whether you are just trying to survive a blindness diagnosis or are looking for ways to thrive… Welcome to the Thriving Blind Academy!

The folks here know the exact pain you felt when you heard the word “blind.”

We know the fear you feel. We know the anger you probably try to hide. We know the sadness, oh boy the sadness in your heart.

AND… we know the steps to take and tools to use to move toward thriving, even when you are scared and sad and mad.

We are not going to remove blindness from your journey, but together we can remove the fears and tears and get you smiling again and enjoying the journey!

"Thriving blind Academy takes something that is scary for some--perhaps many, and creates a safe space where people can come and talk and learn and share, and where the energy stays positive and practical."

-Ron Brooks, Owner, Accessible Avenue

Do any of the following describe you?

  • I am a parent or caregiver that just heard the words, “Your child is blind” and I am feeling overwhelmed/scared/unsure of what to do next.
  • I am a parent or caregiver of a blind/visually impaired child that is in need of real strategies to guide my child in the areas of school, social life, activities, independence and technology.
  • I just found out I am going blind and I have no idea how to succeed without sight.

Are you thinking...

  • I am scared
  • I am so angry.
  • I am so sad.

You don’t have to figure this out alone. We are here to help you, to walk with you, to connect with you, and to guide you through this journey.

Kristin and her three kids. Boys have white canes

I know exactly how hard a blindness diagnosis punches the heart. I've dedicated my life to be the resource for people that I wish I had when I heard the words "Your son is blind." I cannot take blindness away, but I can remove your fear and help you and your family thrive!

– Kristin Smedley, Co-Founder TBA

Thriving Blind Academy Members Get Access To:


Connect with role models that are succeeding without sight. TBA Members attend monthly Zoom meetings to hear from Mentors and interact with them to ask questions, advice etc!


TBA Members get FULL ACCESS to all TBA programs, Masterclasses, special events and a FREE VIP TICKET to the annual Succeed Without Sight Summit!


TBA Members are invited to weekly Zoom meetings with Kristin Smedley, monthly chats with TBA mentors, as well as membership in the private TBA Facebook group to connect with other members and mentors.

"What you and your boys have given me is HOPE. I now feel empowered to start educating this school system and the community that blindness is not a death sentence, a game ender or a sad, depressing existence. What you are doing is SO important."

– Kelly S. Thriving Blind Academy Mastermind Member

The TBA Membership is offered to you for an annual fee of $997

This annual fee gives you access ALL YEAR LONG to everything listed below!


What Are The TBA Membership Perks?

Unprecedented Access to Knowledge, Tools, & Expertise

TBA gives members access to resources in areas of social, education, independence, assistive technology, leisure, and employment.

PRIVATE Facebook Community!

Connect with others on a journey similar to yours, ask questions for mentors to give advice, stay up to date on new technology, information, etc.

Monthly Zoom Meetings with Kristin Smedley!

Join Kristin in the Zoom room to ask questions, discuss challenges, celebrate a win, etc! This is special time for YOU to get specific guidance you need!

Weekly Group Calls with People Just Like YOU!

You'll get to have real conversations with those walking YOUR walk. in this weekly Zoom meeting, guided by Kristin!

FREE VIP TICKET to the Annual Succeed Without Sight Summit!

Get all the perks and privileges of the VIP ticket! Session recordings, give-a-ways, private meetings, etc!

DISCOUNTS on all TBA Programs!

Enjoy major discounts on the Mastermind Program, Masterclasses, Webinars, etc!

Kristin Smedley Headshot

Meet The Founder of Thriving Blind Academy

Kristin Smedley’s mantra is “Life is funny… sort of.” Her fun-loving spirit and energetic personality guided her life in the direction of a career in teaching. Kristin fantasized that she would one day be an inspiring third grade teacher. In the year 2000 Kristin was well on her way to accomplishing all of her goals.

But, fate had other plans, and Kristin found herself shockingly dealt a double dose of darkness. Her firstborn son, Michael, was diagnosed as legally blind when he was just four-months old. Once known for her smile, Kristin found herself devastated and angry. Yet fate wasn’t finished. Three years later, Kristin received another sucker punch to her heart when her second son, Mitchell, was also diagnosed as legally blind at four months of age.

With no idea how to navigate their needs, Kristin saw little hope for their future. Unfortunately, the world had no hope for their future either. Knowing that Michael and Mitchell needed their mother to fight for them, Kristin began advocating for the tools her blind children needed.

With the right foundation and a multitude of resources, her children have become popular, accomplished athletes, Dean’s List and National Honor Society members, recording artist, international Braille competition finalists, top blind athlete in the United States, sought after speakers, as well as typical big brothers to their sighted sister, Karissa.

Kristin has dedicated her life to making sure no other person has to sit isolated in devastation over a rare eye disease diagnosis, and she is on an extraordinary mission to change what it means to be blind.