June 25, 2022
In Episode 66 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, our guest is Sensei Devin Fernandez form New York. A visually impaired martial artist who runs a nonprofit providing adaptive sports, Fernandez spoke about:
- Where he was born and grew up
- Sports he played as a kid
- His education and ultimately getting to run his own small business
- A freak accident that happened to him while on the job, temporarily blinding him
- Being diagnosed with a visual impairment and his adjustment to vision loss
- What inspired him to get into martial arts and why he decided to teach these practices to the blind and visually impaired
- The programs and recreational activities Third Eye Insight, his organization, offers
- Why there are so many benefits for people with disabilities to experience sports and recreation, and how the general public benefits from seeing these activities as well
- His guide dog named after a candy brand and how she has benefited his life in so many ways
- How people can learn more about his organization
Learn more about Third Eye Insight at http://thirdeyeinsight.org. Contact Devin via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 631-445-3464.
June 11, 2022
In Episode 65 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, we feature a Yin-style yoga session with Jillian Ricks. You might remember her from Episode 57 of our podcast. Jillian is a visually impaired certified yoga instructor from Tennessee, and she was generous enough to record this fully described yoga session for our listeners.
Learn more about her health and wellness business, Jillian’s Healing Arts Center, at http://www.jillianshealingartscenter.com. Contact her at email@example.com.
May 28, 2022
In Episode 64 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, our guests are Kyle and Sean Borah, two visually impaired athletic brothers from the St. Louis, Missouri area. Both have been very involved in the adaptive sports of blind hockey and beep baseball over the past few years. During the conversation, they talked about:
- The same retinal condition they both have
- Their childhood growing up in the St. Louis area and their educational journeys
- Sports and recreation they participated in as kids
- Their college experiences attending Webster University, the degrees they earned, and their current jobs
- How Sean Borah’s comment on a Facebook live video led to establishing the St. Louis Blues Blind Hockey Club
- How the adaptive sport of blind hockey works and the rules of the game
- The positions they have played in blind hockey and what they enjoy most about this adaptive sport
- The Gateway Archers beep baseball team and their beep baseball careers
- An award Kyle Borah won for his beep baseball performance and a special message from a well-known St. Louis Cardinals player he received
- Other adaptive sports for the blind they have tried and would like to do more
- Their musical interests
Follow Sean Borah on Twitter at http://twitter.com/real_parmesean. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Kyle Borah on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kyleborah.
Learn more about the St. Louis Blues Blind Hockey Club at https://www.stlbbhc.com/.
Learn more about the Gateway Archers beep baseball team at https://mindseyeradio.org/programs/beepball-program/gateway-archers/.
May 14, 2022
In Episode 63 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, we visit with Michael Stone, a highly accomplished visually impaired endurance athlete who has competed in over 200 races in his life. He has also gotten into skiing and the biathlon in recent years. This is Part 2 of our conversation. During this segment, Stone spoke about:
- His perspectives on using different types of tethers and other methods of running and swimming with guides
- What inspired him to get into adaptive winter sports like skiing and the biathlon
- How the biathlon works for blind and visually impaired skiers
- His other recreational interests and how he does them as someone with a visual impairment
- His recent goals to help expand the availability of accessible mindfulness and meditation platforms to the blind community
- The relationship with his guide dog from Guiding Eyes for the Blind and how he can both run and ski with his dog
April 30, 2022
In Episode 62 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, we visit with Michael Stone, a highly accomplished visually impaired endurance athlete who has competed in over 200 races in his life. He has also gotten into skiing and the biathlon in recent years. This is Part 1 of our conversation. During this segment, Stone spoke about:
- His early years growing up in the Midwest
- His visual impairment and relatives with the same condition, as well as research being done on degenerative retinal conditions through the Foundation Fighting Blindness and other organizations
- Why he has a positive outlook on having low vision
- Mainstream sports he competed in while he was visually impaired but before he was formally diagnosed, and when he realized it was not safe for him to do certain activities without a guide
- How he got into adaptive sports and the adaptive sports and recreation activities he competed in early on
- His perspective on the blind runner-guide relationship
Check out Stone’s book, Eye Envy: Perspectives into Vision Loss, on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Eye-Envy-Perspectives-into-Vision/dp/1427646740.
April 16, 2022
In Episode 61 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, our guest is Justin Holland, a blind bodybuilder, beep baseball player, and YouTuber. During the conversation, Holland chatted about:
- His early years, family, etc.
- Sports he played when he was fully sighted
- Losing his vision suddenly and his specific eye condition
- His guide dog from Guiding Eyes for the Blind
- Getting into adaptive sports
- His bodybuilding career and adaptations as a blind bodybuilder
- His beep baseball career
- His YouTube Channel and awareness he has raised about blindness and adaptive sports
- Future goals in sports, career, etc.
- How people can follow him online
Follow Justin Holland on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/justinnhollandd/.
Check out his YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/justinhollandfitness.
Contact him via email at email@example.com.
April 2, 2022
In Episode 60 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, we meet Dan Berlin, a highly accomplished endurance athlete and entrepreneur. Berlin talked about:
- His early years and diagnosis of a visual impairment
- His education and early career
- Getting into adaptive sports and endurance activities
- How he has found guides for running, swimming and cycling and what makes a successful team
- His experience competing in marathons, including the 2013 Boston Marathon and the bombing of that event
- His experience competing in triathlons
- Running in the Grand Canyon and some other cool places he has run in or summited around the world
- Why he started Team See Possibilities and what the mission of the organization is
- His experience working with blind youth and adults around the world, including helping to provide more access to education and adaptive sports
Learn more about Berlin’s organization, Team See Possibilities, as well as an overview of his many adaptive endurance adventures at http://www.teamseepossibilities.com/.
March 19, 2022
In Episode 59 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, our guest is Dominick Petrillo, a fantasy football writer and expert who happens to be blind. During the conversation, Petrillo discussed:
- - His early years
- - His physical and mental health challenges and how he has managed to overcome this adversity
- - How he follows sports games, info, statistics, etc. as a blind fan, writer, and researcher
- - The sports websites he has written for
- - The technology he uses to make sports information more accessible as a blind individual
- - The most accessible websites for sports information, fantasy sports, and sports gambling
- - His advice for blind individuals who are interested in getting into writing, digital media, fantasy sports, etc.
- - His contact info
Follow Dominick Petrillo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/envisionff.
Check out his perspective on watching the Super Bowl as a blind fan in the following article on The Athletic: https://theathletic.com/3113053/2022/02/09/watching-the-super-bowl-as-a-blind-guy-whats-different-whats-the-same-my-favorite-announcers-and-more/.
March 5, 2022
In Episode 58 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, we chat with Tyson Ready, founder of the Braille Mountain Initiative in western Canada along with Donovan Tildesley, an accomplished Canadian Paralympic swimmer who took a trip with Ready and other blind athletes for an exclusive back-country skiing adventure in January of 2022. Ready and Tildesley spoke about:
- Tildesley’s eye condition and early years competing in sports
- His accomplished Paralympic swimming career with Team Canada and serving as his country’s flag bearer at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing
- The adaptations for blind swimmers
- A Recap of the Braille Mountain Initiative’s back-country skiing trip to Purcell Mountain Lodge this past January
- An overview of the visually impaired skiers and guides
- Highlights of the trip and some funny stories
- The organization’s upcoming trip in April to Sorcerer Lodge
- Contact info and social media handles for both Ready and Tildesley
Learn more about the Braille Mountain Initiative at https://www.braillemountaininitiative.com. Follow the organization on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BrailleMountainInitiative/. Contact Tyson Ready and BMI via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Donovan Tildesley on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/theblindguy_/ and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/donovanspeaks. Check out a video called “The Winter Within” featuring him at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0NT4-6f49k.
February 19, 2022
In Episode 57 of the Eyes Free Sports podcast, our guest is Jillian Ricks, a legally blind certified yoga instructor, massage therapist, dance instructor and enthusiast, and wellness advocate from Tennessee. Ricks discussed:
- Her early life and learning of her visual impairment at a young age
- Getting into dance and how she has made it accessible for herself and her students
- Her college education and numerous certifications in health and wellness
- How she got into yoga and the yoga courses she teaches on Zoom benefiting National Braille Press
- The importance of physical activity and movement for people with disabilities
- The services she offers through Jillian’s Healing Arts Center in Tennessee
Learn more about her center and how to get involved in her virtual yoga classes for the blind and visually impaired at http://jillianshealingartscenter.com. Contact Jillian directly at email@example.com.