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.

What's Your Vision?

"Pity the man who can see but has no vision." - Helen Keller  


Onward and upward.nce 

Onward and upward.nce 

We hiked over 31km over one of the most scenic mountain passes in the world going from St. Jean du Port, France to Roncesvalle, Spain.  It was tough - temperatures  in the 90's, steep inclines and long steep descents.   It made us wonder why in the world are we doing this and we must be crazy with over 500 miles to go.

Vision will do that to you.  Make you do things you never thought possible and regret ever starting to think of such a crzy thing.  But that is one of the coolest things about the human condition - we aspire to reach and to go for new heights, new skills and experiences.  Combine that opportunity with God's timing and circumstance and you have that spark that makes the impossible very possible in any person's life.  

Vision is the spark to helping all of us define a purpose that helps give our best back to the world.  Vision is not about self.  Self is about seeing yourself and not chasing what pleases you but realizing that you are profoundly good and that that each and every person has a desire to be recognized, have impact and make a difference for one other person or even the global community.

So, while you are following this journey, the one question you may wish to ask yourself is:

"What am I sharing of myself of the world beyond the standard roles we play as employee, spouse, family member and more?"  



French countryside  

French countryside  

Spanish countryside  

Spanish countryside  

Every year since 2008, I have prsued a deaf-blind adventure with a vision.  My vision is to help others take on the challenges they face in their lives - especially, but not exclusively, those with Usher Syndrome, hearing and/or vision loss - rather, anyone with a barrier in their life.

The projects and vision...

The Mount Kilimanjaro -- define yourself,  don't. let your disability define you

Amazon and Grand Canyon expeditions - deaf student ambassadors for Hear The World

Boston Marathon 2012 - Tribute to researchers for vision loss

Boston Marathon 201 - Bombing victims with hearing and vision loss

Machu Picchu expedition - deaf student exchange US and Peruvian with No Barriers

No Barriers Summits - Winter Park, Telluride and. Salt Lake City  

South Africa Tour - invited by government to be Ambassador/Advocate of Disabilities in a post-apartheid era


I could have never predcted any of this by being the first deaf-blind person with #Usher Syndrome to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.  My vision and life journey is really more about what happens after you set the vision.  I tell many people that the reason to have a vision and goal is more about what happens after ... not once you reach the finish line.  Only after I summitted, did I leave corporate America and become a deaf-blind adventurer, advocate and storyteller.  

God blew the doors wide open and life has been one more adventure after another.   New confidence, skills and experiences to overcome and transcend barriers.  Also,  amazing people in the world that would not have met otherwise. They have elevated me more than I elevate them.

So, take the time as I hike across Spain to see how your vision can change.  

Would you rather not have vision to experience the world than simply just see it as a passive observer to the human experience?


This adventure project is to celebrate a life-long journey with Usher Syndrome - a devastating disease that robs its victims of their hearing and vision progressively decade by decade.    There are no treatments or cures.  After 33 days of hiking, my guides and I will be arriving in Santiago on September 16th to celebrate Usher Syndrome World Awareness Day.  If you are interested in supporting this project. You can go to:

Thanks for reading and feel free to share with the world.