George's Open Road
Making Information Accessible (0:56)
First Digital Books (1:25)
Going Blind (1:03)
Traveling the World (0:40)
You can’t build a life around hoping for something to come and cure you; you have to figure out ways to make things work.
- Has retinitis pigmentosa, which causes a very gradual degeneration of the retina.
- His vision started declining at age 21 and he became totally blind at age 77.
- Says “if you like puzzles, having a disability is great; you’re constantly trying to find new ways to make things work for you.”
- Because he had so much time to cope with his slowly degenerating eyesight, he was able to think of and implement solutions for other blind people.
- After he finished his undergraduate studies, he went back to school to pursue a master’s degree in computer science.
- However, all of his materials were in print, and as his eyesight was starting to fail, he had trouble reading his books for class.
- He wrote to the textbook companies and requested the floppy disks that contained the material in his textbooks.
- From those disks, he wrote software that allowed his computer to read his books aloud to him, essentially developing the first audiobook.