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.

2012 Boston Marathon

In April 2012, Bill successfully completed the Boston Marathon the world’s premiere marathon event in one of it’s toughest and hottest race in its 116 year history.  Bill ran in the event with Team Mass Eye and Ear and raised over $400,000 to call attention to Usher’s Syndrome and to raise funds for research into this devastating disease. 


2011 Hear The World Sound Academy

The 2011 Hear The World expedition theme was Sound Academy: Amplifying The Grand Canyon done in conjunction with Global Explorers, Grand Canyon Youth and the National Park Service The expedition took 17 hearing impaired and deaf kids from across the U.S. on a trip of a lifetime. The team rafted the Colorado River; hiked slot canyons; collected recordings and data with an acoustical scientist; and learned about the interplay between human beings, wildlife and the rugged Southwest landscape through the world of sound.  Post-trip, the student ambassadors are launching a Hear the World traditional and online social media campaign to educate others about hearing loss and sound, including a sound-themed podcast for the National Park Service’s 5 million annual visitors to the Grand Canyon.


2011 Adventure Team Challenge

In 2011, Bill’s adventure projects kept him busy.  He climbed Mount Quandary with Erik Weihenmayer and Jordan Romero (youngest person to climb Mt. Everest), competed in the World T.E.A.M Sports - Adventure Team Challenge ( ), hosted the No Barriers USA Summit 2011 for 600 attendees ( ) and led his second Hear the World Expedition.