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Succeed Without Sight Summit

Welcome to the only global, virtual event of its kind  ignites an entire community to come together to inspire action to change perceptions of blindness, arm those impacted by blindness with tools to thrive, connect people on this journey to each other – and have a heck of a lot of fun in the process!

REGISTRATION FOR THE 2021 SUMMIT IS CLOSED! Click the button below to purchase the recording of the entire summit.

Join us at the succeed without sight summit 11/13/21

Blindness is not funny.
However, at the Succeed Without Sight Summit we have a lot of fun exploring
the challenges and triumphs of those that are thriving blind and living life on their terms with vision loss!

Do any of these sound like YOU?

You see blindness as devastating.

You are scared for your or your child’s future.

You wonder what is even possible for a blind person to do.

You have lots of questions about living with blindness.

You wish you could meet and learn from others that have figured out how to live life on their terms with vision loss.

The Succeed Without Sight Summit introduces you to people that are thriving with blindness to hear their inspirational stories and reveal key strategies to their success. 

It connects you to other families walking your walk and to resources you need to succeed without sight. 

70% of blind adults are unemployed
70% of blind high school students do not graduate
Only 14% earn a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
These horrific statistics can be changed for the better, much better. With the right beliefs and perceptions about blindness, combined with access to resources and mentors, those that are blind and visually impaired succeed in school and find employment, just like their sighted peers.

A Message from our Summit Kickoff Speakers,Two Blind Brothers:

Additional Featured Speakers:


Charlie Kramer, Life Coach, Singer/Songwriter, Retinitis Pigmentosa,  Recently featured in USA Today

Eliana Mason, TEAM USA Paralympic Athlete (Goalball), Glaucoma, Recently competed in the Olympics in Tokyo

Olaya Landa-Vialard, Director American Printing House ConnectCenter

L.A. Williams, Vice President, Dealer Synergy, Music Producer, Blind

Dave Steel, aka The Blind Poet, Author, Speaker, Retinitis Pigmentosa

H. Eric Hartman, The Blind Traveler, NonProfit Executive, Choroideremia

All registered attendees receive full lineup of speakers and bios!

Summit Sponsors

two blind brothers standing, smiling

What Are People Saying About the Summit?

Who Hosts the Succeed Without Sight Summit?

Kristin smiling at the camera leaning against a brick wall
CHarlie COllins smiling, leaning against a window

The Summit is hosted by Thriving Blind Academy, a joint effort of  Kristin Smedley (Speaker, Best Selling Author and Mom of two blind sons)  and Charlie Collins (Speaker, Author, Entreprenuer with Retinitis Pigmentosa).

The mission of the Thriving Blind Academy is to equip people and families living with blindness and low vision to thrive.  It is the connection for those experiencing sight loss to the resources they need to live purposeful lives on their terms.  

The Succeed Without Sight Summit is a FREE EVENT that supports scholarships for families and individuals to join Thriving Blind Academy.  While the Summit is one of the most inspirational and motivational events folks have ever experienced, the goal of it is to ignite families and individuals to take action to succeed without sight. Learn more about TBA here.

"Kristin 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, TBA Mentor, Succeed Without Sight Summit Speaker

Key components of the summit


Registration is closed. Purchase the recordings of the live presentations/discussions by clicking the button below. NOTE: Thriving Blind Academy Members receive the recording for free!
Purchase Recording Now!


All sponsorship dollars fund scholarships for families and individuals to join the Thriving Blind Academy Membership Program, a year long program that connects those impacted by blindness to the tools, resources and mentors they need to thrive.
Become A Sponsor!


Summit Speakers are by invitation only. If you would like to be a speaker or would like to refer an extraordinary speaker, please send an email to and put “Summit Speaker” in the subject line. Include a brief overview of the speaker and why he/she will be an asset to the Summit and the Thriving Blind Community.
Apply As A Speaker!

The Recordings from the 2020 Summit are also Available for Purchase and Include Presentations from:

Summit MAIN EVENT Part 1. Speakers include:

  • Kirk Adams, CEO American Foundation for the Blind
  • Dave Steele, the Blind Poet
  • Morten Bonde, LEGO Corporation and Author Of Sentenced to Blindness: Now What?
  • Michelle Whitman, Asset Based Consulting
  • Michael Smedley, Jr, PENN STATE student, Co-Host Jigsaw Politics Podcast
  • Ron Brooks, Transit Industry Professional
  • Daniel Lubiner,

Summit MAIN EVENT Part 2. Speakers include:

  • Stephanae McCoy & Nasreen Bhutta, Bold Blind Beauty
  • Orly Shamir, Blind Culinary Artist
  • Jill Dolgin, AGTC (Spotlight Sponsor)
  • Clarke Reynolds, Blind Artist
  • Mike May & Good Maps (Spotlight Sponsor)
  • Education Panel featuring Kim Owens (Navigating Blindness) Kathy Nimmer (Teacher of the Year) Kaleigh Brendel (High School Student, Award Winning Advocate)

Hear From our community + attendees