Bill Barkeley

deaf-blind adventurer, advocate, author & storyteller (public speaker)

Bill is a deaf-blind adventurer, advocate, author & public speaker (storyteller) that speaks and delivers adventure projects to inspire people around the world - disabled or not - on building a pioneering, adventuring spirit and overcoming the challenges in their lives.

Bill's work is about helping others get to a better place in this world and paying it forward in a life that has been rich and fulfilling beyond his wildest imagination.

Bill's groundbreaking climb as the first deaf-blind person to summit Mount Kilimanjaro was covered on Good Morning America.

The story was to share a personal journey about building a life within the context of your abilities and disabilities.

In Bill’s case, the journey is an inexorable march further and further into darkness and silence.

He is a pioneer with assistive technologies for the hearing impaired / deaf, the vision impaired / blind and those with dual sensory challenges -the deaf-blind.

Bill is one of 15,000 in the United States and 100,000 in the world with Usher's Syndrome which progressively robs its victims of both hearing and vision over the course of their lifetime. There are currently no treatments and cures.

See why in many ways he believes that it may be the best thing that ever happened to him.

My 482.3 Mile Hike begins soon!

Usher’s Syndrome World Awareness Day


2016 Adventure Project:


Own The Equinox – Camino de Santiago

August 12, 2016 - September 17, 2016


Bill Barkeley’s Hike – Compestela de Santiago

Southern France to Santiago, Spain


Trip Duration: 33 Stages / 33 Days

Miles to be Walked:   482.3 miles

About Bill’s Motivation for the Compostela de Santiago Project:


It is a pilgrimage like no other. 


The hike embraces the sacredness of the past – man’s calling to help, support and encourage others (disabled or not) to “walk their own path” in the modern world. 


Many may recall Josh Levine’s 2008 documentary of Bill’s climb “Walk Your Own Path: Bill Barkeley’s Climb of Mount Kilimanjaro” (16 min) featured by Outside Magazine and the Serac Adventure Film School. 


In 2016, Bill will be taking time to look back over his 25 years since diagnosis with Ushers Syndrome, move into the present and look future and see what “walking your own path” means on his life journey.


Bill’s 33-day long hike is about embracing the human condition, its struggles and beauty and building confidence and momentum to transcend and overcome barriers in life.  


Bill’s progressive challenges clearly are about living a life rich and full of purpose.  He sees the challenges as gifts that God has given him.  He would not wish the disease he has on anyone,  but in many ways, it is the best thing that ever happened to him.


Bill is an alchemist.  


While many see Bill’s journey into deaf-blindness as a potential heavy weight of “lead” in his life’s backpack, he has come to see it differently. 


By embracing the constraints that he has with physical challenges, his global adventure service projects have given him insights that have taken him to places further than he or anyone could have imagined.  He has not only overcome barriers, he has transcended and and overcome them. The result has been a transformation into an adventurer, advocate and storyteller with a mission to help others get to a better place in their own lives and others. 


In short, as a modern day alchemist who is turning his own “lead” (deaf-blindness)- into “gold” (to lead a life filled with vision, service, purpose and fulfillment).  He sees what has happened to him in life as a “game-changer” but far from “game-over.”

Stay tuned for more updates about the people, partners and the experiences of the adventure.  

As always, thanks for your continued support!