The Boy Who Sees Without Eyes

Diagnosed with retinal cancer at the age of two, both of Ben Underwood's eyes had to be removed at the age of three. By age five, Ben astonished his family as he developed the ability to navigate the world through echolocation. Soon, he was able to detect objects in his environment by listening to reflected sound waves of the frequent "clicking" sound he made with his tongue. It wasn't long before Ben Underwood became known around the globe as the most proficient human echolocator in the world. His ability to detect objects with echolocation was so refined, he was able to accomplish such feats as riding his bicycle, rollerblading, skateboarding and even playing basketball and football.  

Ben's story is a powerful lesson, not just because he has overcome adversity and developed such an amazing skill, but because his family always encouraged him to achieve whatever he set out to accomplish each and every day. "Pity" was a four letter word that simply did not exist in Ben's household. But, an endless supply of love and support allowed Ben to exceed even the highest expectations anyone could have had for him. 

Sadly, the cancer that took Ben Underwood's eyes also took his life at the age of 16. But, what a life it was! "The boy who could see with sound" remains an inspiration to all. His amazing mother, Aquanetta Gordon, believed that nothing was impossible for Ben. In 2014, she released Echoes of An Angel, a book that tells the powerful true story of how Ben's life impacted her and brought light everywhere he went. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BOOK HERE

Aquanetta Gordon provided an environment where Ben was never allowed to be treated like a person who was disabled. In doing so, Ben's capabilities flourished. We aspire to provide the same kind of environment for Oskar. Although blind from birth, Oskar has shown the world that there is no limit to the capabilities and happiness that a blind cat can and should enjoy. 

Now, Oskar & Klaus have seamlessly woven this message into their children's book series!

In Oskar & Klaus: The Search for Bigfoot, it is the curiosity of a blind cat that kicks off an unforgettable adventure. It's the keen nose of a blind cat that guides the friends through dense fog. It's the compassion of a blind cat that sees the best in every new friend along the way. 

Go on an adventure with Oskar & Klaus today!

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Comments

  • Eileen Webb - April 16, 2015

    I heard a podcast interview on “Invisibilia” with a Daniel Kish, a man who not only does this too, but he teaches others (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/544/batman). He is almost 40 years old and also lost his eyes at about the age 3 years, similar to Ben Underwood.

    He has also gotten assistance organizations for blind people to cut back on disabling them. His nickname is BATMAN, because he uses echolocation like bats.

    The takeaway to my comment is that Daniel Kish is teaching other blind people to use this technique to gain independence. I hope Ben Underwood decides to do the same with his skills.

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