SEE what happens when Pete and @Anthony S. Ferraro @asfvision experience the joy and speed of this electric skateboard.
If you have any interest at all in what you just saw and you’d like to learn more, we HIGHLY recommend watching the Blind Surfer documentary called “Finding A Way – The Story of the Blind Surfer”. This 26 minute piece will bring a whole new perspective to everything you watch on this channel.
Here’s a little more on Pete along with some FAQ’s
Pete was diagnosed at the age of 8 with macular degeneration. The disease would later be renamed as Stargadt’s because it affected Pete so young and needed to be reclassified. Pete was born with perfect eyesight, but the genetic disorder began to eat away at his eyesight from the moment of his birth rendering him legally blind by the age of 8 and without any “functional” eyesight by his mid-30’s.
Q: is Pete’s eyesight completely black?
A: No. Pete sees a jumble of light and dark. There are no distinct shapes and this “non-functional” eyesight makes it impossible to process the information his eyes are sending to his brain. Clicking on the following episode will show you a number of visual examples of how Pete sees:
Q: How is Pete reading and responding to these comments?
A: Pete does not read comments. Pete does not “read” anything. He uses Text to Speech technology and the Voice Over feature on his iPhone. You can see an entertaining 58 second demonstration here:
Q: why does it look like he’s looking at the camera?
A: The camera looks at Pete. He does not look at the camera unless he has been given a “mark” or is following a predetermined and pre-discussed route of the camera. Please refer to the start of this episode for more:
Q: can Pete type?
A: yes. Pete has fingers. Pete can type. Pete also uses the dictate feature on his phone just like millions of Americans who like to dictate faster than they can type.
Q: How does Pete get around?
A: Pete gets around with the help of a cane, his guide dog Superdog and his friends. When you see him on camera, many routes have been pre-plotted for the ease of viewing. To see how Pete gets to his spot on the beach, please check out the 48 second mark of this video:
Q: Why does Pete have eyes?
A: being blind does not mean that you don’t have eyes. It just means that they don’t’ work
Q: So why is he looking at stuff when he talks?
A: Pete’s ears work fine so he can hear where voices are coming from and looks in the direction of those voices.
Q: Why is Pete wearing sunglasses
A: Most blind people wear sunglasses because they make really poor eye contact and it’s a little off-putting to people in the sighted world to be looking at someone who isn’t really looking back. Also, since Pete’s eyes can’t regulate the amount of light coming into his pupils, direct exposure to bright sunlight can cause pretty un-fun headaches so he keeps the shades on to keep the unregulated and indistinct bright light out.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask in the comments. The Blind Surfer channel is always happy to help spread awareness and information about blindness and how it affects tens of millions of people worldwide.
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