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Kristin's Books & School Programs!

Because Learning about ABILITY in disAbility Should Be THIS Fun!

If you are looking for an exciting way to introduce or expand your school or organization’s experience with seeing ability and advantage in disability and disadvantage, set up a call with Kristin to discuss her in person author visits, keynotes, and workshops!  You too will hear people on your team say what a school librarian in South Carolina said of Kristin’s visit: “It was my most favorite day!”

What I Can Be Is Up To Me! The Inclusive, Accessible Children's Book!

Cover of What I Can Be IS Up To Me children's book



This book uses rhythmic, action-packed text and engaging illustrations to introduce children to real-life individuals who have harnessed their unique abilities in their disability.

Print + Braille format!

WINNER! Kickstarter “Projects We Love” Award

WINNER! Quille Award

Thriving Blind Book Cover

Thriving Blind: Stories of Real People Succeeding Without Sight

AMAZON #1 Best Seller


“Thriving Blind” showcases the stories of individuals who have achieved success and fulfillment in their lives despite living with blindness or visual impairment. The key message of the book is to inspire and empower both people with visual impairments and those without to recognize the potential for achievement and happiness in the face of adversity.

WATCH Kristin's visit to Lowry Elementary with Special Guest LA Williams!

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School Visit Formats


Before COVID19 threw us all into virtual classrooms, Kristin was already enjoying Skype visits with schools. In addition, she co-hosts an online show and host virtual, global events all year long. Kristin is quite comfortable with engaging classes of all sizes virtually!

In Person

When your school is ready for energetic in person events, Kristin is ready to be there! We have programs for small individual classrooms as well as whole school assemblies. We will work with you to put together a fun, meaningful experience for your students!

Most Popular topics

Discounted copies of the book

Every school visit, in person or virtual, includes options for the school or individual students to purchase Thriving Blind at a discounted price. At in person events Kristin will include time to sign the books.  If virtual events are planned enough in advance, Kristin will sign the books before they are shipped.

What are Teachers Saying about Kristin's School Programs?

Thriving Blind Kindle Edition Debuts as  #1 New Release and #2 Best Seller on AMAZON!

Thriving Blind Paperback Edition Debuts as #1 New Release on Amazon!

CLICK HERE to ORDER Thriving Blind on Amazon!

Thriving Blind is now available in ebraille (.BRF) version!

Thanks to a generous donation from TMobile CEO, John Legere, the Thriving Blind BRF version is available at the same price as the Kindle version!

CLICK HERE to order the BRF file of Thriving Blind!

This book will transform your idea of what is possible for people who encounter a devastating life event and will catapult your motivation to set extraordinary expectations for your own life. Reality TV star, YouTube sensation, Teacher of Year. Have you ever dreamed of having one of these titles next to your name? Maybe you dream of climbing Mt. Everest or becoming a successful CEO of a national organization.  Now, would you consider any of this if you were… blind? Kristin Smedley’s two sons were diagnosed as blind when they were each just four months old.  Having no experience with blindness, Kristin expected a life of challenge for her boys. However, eventually she met a few people that would change her perception of what is possible for those navigating the world without sight.  She decided to set extraordinary expectations for her sons, equipping them with tools and resources to navigate their world. Soon, tears became cheers as Kristin celebrated her boys’ successes in school, baseball championships and theater productions. Recently, Kristin delivered her oldest blind son to college a thousand miles away from home.  Kristin’s boys, like the people in this book, aren’t just surviving blindness, they’re thriving. While the stories in Thriving Blind demonstrate how blind people used creativity and determination to live the life of their dreams, the lessons they convey about facing fears and crashing through society’s barriers are transformative for all who experience struggles. [Tweet ““In #ThrivingBlind, Kristin beautifully presents how her beliefs and fears, her perspective and mindset could become either her boys’ biggest barrier or the boys’ most powerful catalyst.” @erikweihenmayer #blindness “] BOOK RELEASE UPDATE! [ctct form=”1343″]


headshot of kristin 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, and after earning her degree, she landed her first job in education. 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, despite the fact that she was advised the chances of having a blind child were one in one million. In fact, only 300 children in the United States shared Michael’s genetic mutation. Once known for her smile, Kristin found herself devastated and angry. Yet fate wasn’t finished. Three years later, Kristin received another blow when her second son, Mitchell, was also diagnosed as legally blind at four months of age. Before the birth of her babies, Kristin had never known a blind person. The boys’ retina specialist informed her family that both children would need white canes to navigate the world, and that neither of them would likely ever attend a normal school, pitch a baseball, drive a car, or be able to secure a great job. With no idea how to navigate their needs, Kristin saw little hope for their future. Nearly suffocating from her own fears, Kristin knew she needed to overcome the anxiety, worry, and obstacles for the sake of her sons, but she had no idea how to proceed. Yet, knowing that Michael and Mitchell needed their mother to fight for them, Kristin began advocating for the tools her blind children needed. As Kristin found and equipped her boys with the resources to help them thrive, they not only took on the world, but changed Kristin’s perception of blindness. With the right foundation and a multitude of resources and tools, her children have become popular, accomplished athletes, high-achieving students, talented musicians, and International Braille competition finalists, as well as typical big brothers to their sighted sister, Karissa, both teasing and supporting her as big brothers do! In 2011, Kristin launched a mission to fund research and resources for children living with the rare eye disease her sons have. In less than eight years, the Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation has raised over a million dollars and achieved the first legislation in US history to be submitted in Braille—legislation that advocates for better resources for blind and visually impaired Americans.
Kristin Smedley and her children standing on a golf course
From left: Karissa, Mitchell, Kristin, Michael
In 2016, Kristin’s blog about changing people’s perceptions of blindness went worldwide and was followed by her 2017 TEDx Talk on setting extraordinary expectations. She partnered with Comcast media to spread awareness of the inclusive X1 product. Kristin was one of twelve people in the world invited to testify before the US Food and Drug Administration to advocate for the approval of the first-ever gene therapy to reverse blindness. Kristin is currently the Pennsylvania Ambassador for the National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD). Kristin, Michael, Mitchell, and Karissa now mentor families living with blindness, and Kristin’s public speaking engagements, book, and social media outreach teach others to move past their fears and obstacles to achieve extraordinary outcomes. You, too, can set extraordinary expectations and achieve your dreams. Please read and share Kristin’s story! [Tweet “”So looking forward to being able to point people towards this resource! It is so needed.” @facebook fan #ThrivingBlind #blindness #book”]

Krisitn in a red dress being interviewed in front of a video camera on a tripod


Publishing, distribution and availability inquiries please send an email to ThrivingBlind@gmail.com

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS! If you have a story to refer please scroll down for instructions! THANK YOU for your interest in helping us feature wonderful individuals that are following their dreams and living their passions, without sight! While submissions for Kristin’s first book are CLOSED, we are still accepting suggestions of blind and visually impaired adults and children that are Thriving Blind. Please take a few moments to fill in the information below and we will contact you if we have room for your suggestion! Stay tuned for updates on the book release date – and the sequels! [wd_contact_form id=”8″]