Think and Zoom OVERCOMERS 2019 — Global list of Blind and Disabled Innovators

Zuby Onwuta
Oct 31 · 9 min read

Think and Zoom is

“Creating a world where visual impairment no longer steals dreams or kills careers”

Introducing

Think and Zoom Overcomers 2019

Think and Zoom OVERCOMERS 2019— Global list of Blind and Disabled Innovators

We are celebrating October #NDEAM National Disability Employment Awareness Month & Blindness Awareness Month, by shining the spotlight on Blind people solving blindness problems ”and highlighting the achievements of individuals who are ‘Overcoming Disability with creative abilities’, by ‘Turning personal problems into global solutions’” and igniting the inclusion revolution — #inclusionrevolution

Larry Bock

  • LinkedIn
  • Title: Co-founder of Aira, Serial entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist (VC)
  • Achievement: Co-founder, seed investor & Chairman of Aira — smartglasses that provides visual interpretation for the blind.
  • Also founded or financed 50 startups, in biotech, pharma and nano tech with total market value of $70 billion.
  • (Passed away in July 2016 of pancreatic cancer)
  • Website

Marx Melencio

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Location: NCR — National Capital Region, Philippines
  • Title: AI Developer, Wearable Device Builder
  • Achievement: Creator of Open Source 3D printed DIY AI smart glass for the blind — these smart glasses leverage AI computer vision through a camera, to help blind users read text, identify currency and avoid obstacles with haptic feedback. Winner of 2008 Philippines Entrepreneur of the Year award for training and employing over 100 blind individuals.
  • Website

Yuma Antoine DECAUX

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Location : St Lucia, Queensland, Australia
  • Title : Founder & CEO of Oseyeris
  • Achievement: Creator of Asteros “mobile portal to the universe” app — an accessible mobile software application for blind users, or anyone, to explore the universe and possibly discover an exoplanet. Winner of 2018 NASA space app challenge and 2019 Holman Prize. Inventor of Macaron — a smart device for accurately measuring items, designed for the blind, or anyone. Winner of 2018 Australian James Dyson award and 2019 Bluebox biggest social impact award
  • Website

Stacy Cervenka

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Title: Founder of the Blind Travelers’ Network and Director of Public Policy American Foundation of the Blind
  • Achievement: Creator of Blind Traveler’s Network — a website that provides accessibility information about destination locations to blind travelers, and 2018 Holman Prize winner.
  • Website

Kürşat Ceylan

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Location : Istanbul, Turkey
  • Title : Co-Founder and CEO of Young Guru Academy
  • Achievement: Inventor of WeWalk Smart cane for the blind with Google Maps — a cane that has speakers, Google maps, Voice Assistant and Bluetooth connection to a smartphone, to help blind people navigate.
  • Website

Michael Curran

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Location : Brisbane, Australia
  • Title : Executive Director of NVAccess
  • Achievement: Creator of NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) screen reading software for Microsoft Windows — a free, open-source, assistive technology software that enables blind users to access personal computers.
  • Website

Zuby Onwuta

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Location: Austin Texas
  • Title : Founder & CEO of Think and Zoom, Neuroscience researcher, Software Engineer
  • Achievement: Inventor of Brain Control for Blind Assistive Tech — technology that reads and reacts to human brain waves, allowing blind users to control assistive tech by simply thinking. Awarded a USPTO patent in 2018. Creator of “Kenti — free bird’, a brain controlled mobile game and winner of 2015 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference Award. Recipient of President Obama Presidential Service Award.
  • Website

Caroline Casey

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Location: Ireland
  • Title : Founder of The Valuable 500
  • Achievement: Award winning Creator of The Valuable 500 & #valuable500 — introduced Disability as a Global crisis, at the 2019 World Economic Forum, via an ambitious campaign to get 500 global businesses to put disability inclusion on their business leadership agendas.
  • Website

Chad Allen

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Title : Magician & Accessibility Consultant
  • Achievement: Creator of ‘Unseen’ audio comic for the blind — an “audio” comic experienced only with sound, about a blind character, “Afsana” who is an assassin that fights to liberate people with disabilities.

Hans Jørgen Wiberg

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Location: Sealand Region, Denmark
  • Title : Founder of Be My Eyes
  • Achievement: Founder of Be My Eyes, which allows people with a visual impairment to get in contact with sighted volunteers via a live video call.
  • Website

Bryan Manning

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Location: Greater New York City Area
  • Title : Co-Founder Two Blind Brothers
  • Achievement: Creator of embedded braille in clothing — an innovation that allows blind users to identify clothing via braille.
  • Website

Bradford Manning

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Location: Greater New York City Area
  • Title : Co-Founder Two Blind Brothers
  • Achievement: Creator of embedded braille in clothing — an innovation that allows blind users to identify clothing via braille.
  • Website

Chelsea Elliott

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Location: Austin, Texas
  • Title : Executive director at Half-Helen Foundation
  • Achievement: Creator of Half Helen mobile eye clinic — provides vision screenings, eye exams, and glasses to underprivileged children for FREE.
  • Website

Kartik Sawhney

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Location: Bellevue, Washington
  • Title : Co-founder of I-Stem, Co-founder of NextBillion.org, Software engineer of Microsoft
  • Achievement: Creator of I-Stem STEM access for the disabled — an organization committed to empowering and supporting students and professionals with disabilities to be successful in STEM careers.
  • Website

Michael Doise

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Location: Austin, Texas
  • Title: Founder of iAccessibility LLC, Host of iAcast podcast, app developer
  • Achievements: Creator of iAccessibility.net — platform for accessible solutions and app development training. Has developed several mobile apps for blind users including VO Starter, Start Speaking,PocketBraille Reference, PocketBraille — Braille Guide, and many others
  • Website

Santiago Velasquez

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Location: Brisbane, Australia
  • Title : Founder & CEO EyeSyght
  • Achievement: Creator of Eyesight digital tactile display — developing technology to enable vision impaired individuals to be able to feel graphical content in real time.
  • Website

Kelvin Crosby

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Location : San Diego, California
  • Title : Founder of the Smart Guider
  • Achievement: Inventor of “See me cane” smart cane for the blind — a lighted blind cane that provides visibility and safety to blind cane users.
  • Website

OVERCOMERS / Corporate — Global list of Blind Innovators

Chieko Asakawa

  • Facebook
  • Location: Osaka, Japan
  • Title : World renowned Inventor, Computer Scientist, IBM Researcher
  • Achievement: She pioneered advancements in web accessibility including development of the IBM Home Page Reader, which was a Netscape browser plug-in and then became the most widely used web-to-speech system available. Other projects include word processor and digital library for braille documents, amongst many others.Current projects include NavCog, a voice-controlled smartphone app that helps blind people navigate complicated indoor locations, and the “AI suitcase” — a lightweight navigational robot.
  • Website

Saqib Shaikh

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Location: London, Greater London, United Kingdom
  • Title : Software Engineering Manager / Project Lead for Seeing AI at Microsoft
  • Achievement: Founding member of Seeing AI team — Designed Seeing AI assistive technology mobile app, which uses a talking camera that helps blind users interpret the world around them.

Matt King

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Location: Menlo Park, California
  • Title : Accessibility Specialist in UI Engineering at Facebook
  • Achievement: Creator of the Accessible Rich Internet Applications standards (the plumbing for web accessibility). Started in IBM’s accessibility working on a screen reader controlled via audio cues or a braille device. Now at Facebook, he is focused on “automated alt-text,” which audibly describes images.

OVERCOMERS — Global list of Disabled Innovators

Tiffany A. Yu

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Location: San Francisco Bay Area
  • Title : Founder of Awesome Foundation Disability Chapter
  • Achievement: Creator of Awesome Foundation Disability Chapter — which awards monthly micro-grants to disability projects. She is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and a Climate Reality Leader and has been featured in Forbes
  • Website

Sasha Blair-Goldensohn

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Location: New York, New York
  • Title : Accessibility and inclusion evangelism at Google NYC.
  • Achievement: Creator of Google Maps wheelchair accessible locations feature — initially started a crowdsourcing platform for wheelchair accessible locations which was later added into Google Maps

Paul Herzlich

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Location: Los Gatos, California
  • Title : Legal Specialist II, e-Discovery Operations, Analytics at Google
  • Achievement: Herzlich and his colleagues hope to bring the product to market and develop a version for hospitals where patients face health problems related to bedsores.

John Porter

  • LinkedIn
  • Location: Lynnwood, Washington
  • Title: UX Designer at Microsoft, PhD Candidate at UW
  • Achievement: Microsoft, Designer, Human Computer Interaction HCI making games more accessible to the disabled.

Rory Cooper

  • LinkedIn
  • Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Title: Distinguished Professor at the University of Pittsburgh
  • Achievement: Inventor of the Mobility Enhancement Robotic Wheelchair (MEBot) stair-climbing wheelchair — Cooper holds 25 patents in wheelchair technology, advanced mobility devices and assistive technologies including PneuChair, a waterproof wheelchair powered entirely by compressed air; and Virtual Seating Coach, a smartphone app to control power wheelchair seating systems, and also StrongArm, a specialized wheelchair attachment designed to help wheelchair users transfer in and out of their electric powered wheelchair to other surfaces like chairs and beds.
  • Website

Hugh Herr

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Location: Greater Boston Area
  • Role/Title: Associate Professor at the MIT Media Lab
  • Achievements: Creator of both “Rheo Knee” computer-controlled artificial knee, and world’s first powered ankle-foot prosthesis — Named “Leader of the Bionic Age” — by TIME MAGAZINE because of his revolutionary work in the emerging field of biomechatronics. During postdoc at MIT in biomedical devices, he began working on advanced leg prostheses and orthoses, devices that emulate the functionality of the human leg. He is the author and co-author of more than 150 peer-reviewed papers and 100 patents in the field of rehabilitation science and assistive devices. Now working on 3D neuromuscular model of the human ankle-foot complex.
  • Website

Think and Zoom — Promoting Blind Innovators & Blind Innovations!

@thinkandzooom, @zubyonwuta

Think and Zoom Zuby Onwuta

#thinkandzoom #OpenAssistiveTech

#BlindInnovators #BlindTechInnovators#BlindTechUserInnovators #DisabledInnovators #DisabledTechInnovator #DisabledTechUserInnovators #thinkandzoom #SmartAssistiveTech #OpenAssistiveTech #inclusionrevolution #RepresentationMatters#makinganimpact #diversity #inclusion #disabilityawareness #disabilityemployment #disability #inclusive #accessibility#diversitymatters #inclusionmatters #disabilityrights#solveblindness #solvingblindness#solveforblind #solveDisability #solvefordisabled

Zuby Onwuta

Written by

Legally blind ex US Army & IBM, Founder @ Think and Zoom, Inventor of “Brain-control for blind Assistive Tech”, TED Speaker, Disability Advocate @ US Congress

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