A Conversation with … Bill Barkeley, Deaf-blind Advocate, Adventurer and Storyteller
Bill Barkeley calls himself the “deaf-blind adventurer,” and will be the keynote speaker at the NASF Sur/Fin conference on June 8. Born with little hearing and fading vision, Barkeley graduated from the University of Southern California and was director of sales and marketing for a Fortune 500 form before retiring and becoming a public speaker and ‘storyteller,’ sharing his life journey with progressive hearing and vision loss.
PF: When did you decide you wanted to speak full-time about being deaf-blind adventurer?
BB: After I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro as the first deaf-blind person using assistive technologies, I was on Good Morning America and word spread. It was not only of my physical accomplishment, but about how I felt that any person in this world with disabilities—or not—can get past any barrier in their work or life. Invitations to speak came in from around the world, and I quit my corporate career to my encore career of helping people get to a better place in their lives through adventures, advocacy and storytelling/public speaking.