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thriving blind academy's 4th Annual

Succeed Without Sight Summit 

12.2.23 10am-2pm (EST)

The Ultimate Game Changer for the Blind and Low Vision Community,

Igniting Success-Driven Mindsets like No Other Event!

Imagine a world where vision knows no bounds, where limitless potential thrives in the absence of sight.

This groundbreaking summit is your ticket to an inspiring convergence of resilience, innovation, and boundless determination.

Join us as we unlock the secrets to achieving success beyond sight's limitations, featuring incredible stories, expert insights, and powerful strategies.

Don't miss your chance to be a part of this transformative event.

Enter your info below to grab your FREE ticket!

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    Speakers Succeeding Without Sight in Lives of Their Dreams

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    Learn about Parenting, Education, Workforce Success & More!

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    See the Latest and Greatest in Assistive Technology!


    Whether you attend the event OR donate to support our work, our community thrives because of YOU!


    What Is the Succeed Without Sight Summit?

    The Succeed Without Sight Summit is a half-day, virtual event hosted by Thriving Blind Academy to connect you to people that are living, working, and succeeding with vision loss. The summit has inspired and motivated thousands of individuals and families from all over the world to take the next steps to thrive.

    In a world not built for blindness, it is challenging to find others that know the feelings you feel in adjusting to vision loss. In this community, we understand. Summit speakers and attendees know the fears, doubts, anger, etc involved in this journey. We also know the joy, relief, and energy that comes from being inspired and empowered to take control of your life.

    During the event, you'll be able to learn from those thriving with blindness and low vision and will be empowered by resources and knowledge to succeed in YOUR life. 

    Enter your info below to grab your FREE TICKET!

    ATTEND! 12.2.23

    Grab your ticket and prepare to THRIVE!



    Support the work of Thriving Blind Academy!



    Get access to the Summit replay AND Events and Mentoring all year long!




    Whether you join us for one day or all year, or support our work, we are so grateful for YOU!

    kaleigh brndle with long blond air smiling holding her white cane


    Kaleigh Brendle, 2021 Summit Speaker,

    Succeed Without Sight Topics

    These are the pressing topics our community wants to know more about! Stay tuned for updates of specific hour by hour schedule, speakers, and more!

    • A few of the Key Topics that will be covered:

    • Summit Day is Packed with Inspiring Folks That Give Real Life Strategies for Success

      and we have a heck of a lot of fun all day long!

      This is not your typical conference about blindness and low vision! Check back for the session topics and timing of each!

    • Parenting children that are blind/low vision

    • Assistive Technology Talk

    • Thriving Blind in Business: Getting Back Into the Workforce

    • Thriving with Sports for the Blind/VI

    • The Brain's Role in Thriving

    • Homeschool to Harvard!

    • Thriving Blind in the Early Years

    • Blindness: The Competitive Edge

    Want Access to the 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023

    Succeed Without Sight Summit Replays?

    All Thriving Blind Academy Yearly Members have access to the 25+ hours of previous summit sessions.

    Become a Member Now!

    Speaker LineUp Updates Every Week!

    Here's who you'll get to hang out with on summit day!

    Meet our presenters and panelists for the event. Learn from them how to grow from surviving to thriving with vision loss! Check back often as we update this page with this year's speakers! 

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      Sam Seavey

      Assistive Tech Talk

      Sam is Founder of the YouTube channel, The Blind Life (49,000+ subscribers), deicated to sharing his experiences with vision loss. Sam was diagnosed in early adolescence with Stargardt’s Disease, a form of macular degeneration, and was legally blind by his mid-teens.

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      Charlie Collins

      Assistive Tech Talk

      Charlie is Co-Founder of Thriving Blind Academy and the SuccessAbility channel on YouTube, a certified Success Principles speaker/coach, and author of the book Tripping Into the Light. Charlie has been featured in two of Jack Canfield's The Success Principles books. Charlie was diagnosed with Stargardt's Disease in his teens and is legally blind.

      Kristin Smedley a white woman with long black hair

      Kristin Smedley

      Raising Thriving Children

      Kristin Smedley is author of the best selling book Thriving Blind:Stories of Real People Succeeding Without Sight and NEW children's book, What I Can Be Is Up To Me. Kristin is Co-Founder of Thriving Blind Academy and the SUccessAbility You Tube channel. She has two sons that are blind due to CRB1-LCA and a sighted daughter. All three of her children are thriving - and out of the house at college and the workforce!

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      Suzette May

      Speaker/Accessibility Consultant

      Suzette May is a passionate advocate and workshop speaker dedicated to making workplaces, clinical trials, and pedestrian areas accessible for the blind. As an entrepreneur and student at Arizona State University, she's pursuing undergraduate studies in Disability Studies and a graduate degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management. Legally blind herself, Suzette has a Seeing Eye Dog and advocates for disability and pedestrian accessibility, braille literacy, and early vision screening. 

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      Campbell Rutherford

      Student, Harvard 

      Campbell Rutherford is a sophomore at Harvard pursuing an applied mathematics concentration on the biological sciences track. She's hoping to work in medical research after graduate school, which was inspired by the many rabbit holes of biology that she fell into during sciences classes as a homeschooler. Campbell is also a classic pianist and is currently a member of the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum mixed voice choir. She describes herself as a "standard nerd" and she's probably not wrong, though there's nothing standard about her.

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      Liza Rutherford

      Homeschool Mom/Choreographer/Dance Instructor

      Liza Rutherford is the homeschool mom of two girls and a choreographer/dance instructor by trade. She has been homeschooling for 11 years, from preschool to grade 9 for her 14 year old sighted daughter Harris, and grades 5-12 for her blind daughter, Campbell, who is now a sophomore at Harvard. That's 3 bouts of Algebra now, including her own attempt the first time through, if anyone's counting!

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      Leon the Jokester


      Hailed as “The funniest blind Comedian in stand-up”, by Voyage San Antonio Magazine. Comedian Leon the Jokester has one focus in comedy and that is to spread: Love, Hope, and Laughter. Widely known for his clean and relatable comedy for all age groups, Comedian Leon the Jokester brings a style of humor the entire family can enjoy. He addresses life issues, finding hope in tough times, and how to walk by faith and not by sight in every season of life. In 2016, he became the co-founder of the non-profit organization “Oklahoma Comedy Zone, LLC. In which he teaches “tweens” and “teens” how to write clean jokes and become comedians. 

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      Matt Philipenko

      Customer Solutions Architect, Microsoft

      First and foremost, Matt is a believer in Jesus Christ. He is  a Husband, Father, Son, and Brother. He feels blessed to work for Microsoft as a Customer Solutions Architect aka M365 Apps Ranger. Matt was diagnosed with Stargardts when he was 19. Matt says: In life we have a choice we can either ROLL OVER or RISE UP...it's your choice.

    Succeed Without Sight Summit is brought to you by Thriving Blind Academy

    the only community that gives you the success strategies, community and coaching to thrive no matter your level of vision loss.  Take the next step on your thriving journey and join us today!

    **Thriving Blind Academy Membership includes a FREE VIP ticket to the Summit!


    Thriving Blind Academy Membership Options:



  • Membership in the private Thriving Blind Academy Facebook group

  • Access to all Summit Sessions 

  • Access to all Summit day Q&A Sessions




  • Membership in the private Thriving Blind Academy Facebook group

  • Access to all Summit Sessions 

  • Access to all Summit day Q&A Sessions

  • Access to the entire online portal of recordings, masterclasses, webinars, trainings of success principles for thriving with blindness/low vision

  • Weekly LIVE group mentorship calls (and recordings)

  • Recordings of all Summit speakers


    Questions or technical issues? Contact: [email protected]