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.

Bill USC summit.jpg

Bill's public speaking egagements have taken him around the world as he shares his life experiences. He shares with people disabled (or not) his insights as a business executive, community leader, father and a person with physical challenges.

Bill inspires and motivates people to build a bold vision for themselves and not be defined by their disability but by their abilities.  Through a pioneering adventuring mindset he shares a message of aspiration, inspiration, hope and faith that helps people move the mountains in their lives, communities and families. 

Bill's speaking engagements are to non-profits, schools, corporations around the globe in places across the United States, Germany and South Africa.   

Speaking Engagements:

Applied Imaging

Aquinas College – Osher Lifetime Institute

Association Blind and Visually Impaired

Boy Scouts

Boys and Girls Club of West Michigan

Breton Hil

ls Retirement Community

Cheshire Home – Durban, South Africa

Christian Middle School

Costco (East Coast and West Coast)


Deaf-Blind Coalition of Ontario (Canada)

Ear Institute of Australia

Forest Hills School District

Grand Rapids Bar Association – Senior Lawyers

Grand Valley University - Grand Forum

Great Lakes Scrip Center

Hear The World – Berlin, Germany

Hearing Loss Association of America

Henry Schein

Herman Miller Healthcare

Howell Catholic Schools

Huizenga Group

Immaculate Heart of Mary


Kwazulu – Natal Tourism Board - South Africa

Leader Dogs for the Blind

MAER Conference

Maly’s / Redken

MANS Conference

Marriott Foundation

Metro Health Systems

National City Bank

National Surface Finishing

Oakland Community College

Ohio State Speech & Occuptional Therapists

Ohio State University


Phonak USA National Sales Meeting

Prison Fellowship Ministries

Regal Financial

Royal Technologies

St. John Vianney

St. Stephens

Sullivan-Schein Dental

Vision Service Plan

West Catholic High School

Western Michigan University

Universal Forest Products

Usher Syndrome Coalition

Ziegler Group


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