Eyes on Success

Wednesday and Sunday at 5 p.m.
  • Hosted by Peter and Nancy Torpey

Eyes On Success presents information, demonstrations and discussion of products, services, and life experiences that help people with vision loss live independently and productively.  Topics range from detailed descriptions of adaptive equipment and programs such as screen readers and portable Braille displays to discussions of various accessible reading materials to personal stories of engaging in extreme sports and other hobbies. There's something for everyone on Eyes On Success.

Eyes On Success is hosted and produced by Peter Torpey and Nancy Goodman Torpey and distributed by WXXI Reachout Radio in Rochester, NY.  Nancy and Pete speak from personal experiences.  As retired physicists, and self-proclaimed "geeks" Pete, who is blind carries the heavy tech load, and Nancy who is sighted provides the warmth and color commentary.

Ways to Connect

American Foundation for the Blind

Helen Selsdon is the archivist for the American Foundation for the Blind.  She joined the AFB in 2002 to organize and preserve the Helen Keller Archives.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with her about her work and about this rich source of information on the history of visual impairment, women's history, literary history, and American culture.

Read more about the archive project.


Much adaptive technology relies on speech synthesis, which has evolved from humble beginnings to nearly human sounding speech. Hosts Nancy Goodman Torpey and Peter Torpey talk with Andrew Breen, director of innovation for text to speech at Nuance Communications, about the history, current technology and future goals of speech synthesis.


Even as a child, Jo Elizabeth Pinto enjoyed writing.  Now, what started as a few chapters in high school, has grown into her debut novel, “The Bright Side of Darkness.”  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with her about the experiences that led her to write this book about a brave young blind girl and her unlikely friend, and also about getting it published.

Jo Elizabeth Pinto lives in Colorado. She works as a freelance Braille proofreader and writer. The Bright Side of Darkness, her first novel, is available in Kindle, audio, and paperback formats. Read more about her in her NFB article, Learning to Raise My Hand - And Find My Voice.

EOS 1715: Audio Book Narrator, 04/05/17

Apr 3, 2017

You’ve probably heard her voice on a Talking Book from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.  Martha Harmon Pardee has narrated over 3,000 books for the NLS.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with her about the process of recording audio books, notable moments in her career, and what else she does as a professional voice artist.

EOS 1714: Blind Software Engineer, 03/29/17

Mar 27, 2017

Computers are very accessible to the visually impaired these days.  There are also many attractive employment opportunities for those with computer-related skills, particularly if they know how to program.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Tom Shults, a blind engineer, about his career and how he uses these skills in developing new hardware devices.

EOS 1713: Ultra Sports Challenges, 03/22/17

Mar 20, 2017

Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to summit Mt. Everest, has released a new book called “No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon”.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with him about his adventures and about “No Barriers”, an organization he co-founded whose mission is to help people with challenges face barriers head on.

National Technical Assistance Center - Mississippi State University

The SAS Graphics Accelerator makes graphical data accessible to the visually impaired by dynamically producing alternative presentations in the form of verbal description, sonification, and tabular data.  Ed Summers, a blind engineer and head of the accessibility team at SAS, demos the tools and discusses their use with hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey.

EOS 1711: Teaching Blind Children, 03/08/17

Mar 6, 2017
Horticultural Therapy Institute

Carol Puchalski has worked for over 30 years as a developmental psychology consultant at the Anchor School for Blind Children in Colorado.  She recently returned from a trip to Uganda where she volunteered to assist a school for the blind.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Carol about her experiences helping blind children both in the U.S. and abroad.

American Printing House for the Blind

Graphiti is a dynamic multi-level tactile touch display designed to give the blind access to graphical and pictorial information at an affordable price. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Venkatesh Chari, President and CTO at Orbit Research, and Ken Perry, project manager at APH, about this revolutionary, page-size display and how it can be used.


A wide variety of low vision aids are available to assist people with limited vision.  They range in size, magnification capability, and function.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Ivar Illing, Vice President of Product Management at VFO / Optelec, about the various products offered by VFO and how to select the one that’s right for you.

EOS 1708: Dictation Bridge, 2/15/17

Feb 13, 2017

Microsoft Windows now comes with built in speech recognition.  Unfortunately, on its own, it is difficult to use with a screen reader.  DictationBridge is a free program that solves this problem using most popular screen readers.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Lucy Greco, a member of the team that created the technology, about how it works.

EOS 1707: Acting Blind, 02/08/17

Feb 6, 2017
The Brooklyn Rail

Pursuing a career in the performing arts as a professional actor comes with a number of challenges whether one is blind or not.  Even for the blind, however, these barriers are not insurmountable.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with George Ashiotis about his career and experiences as a blind actor and how he manages to live his dream.

The New York Times

Theater Breaking Through Barriers is an Off-Broadway theater and one of several professional theaters in the country dedicated to advancing actors and writers with disabilities and changing the image of people with disabilities from dependence to independence. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Nicholas Viselli, artistic director of TBTB, about their work.


Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Shelly Brisbin, author of the book “iOS Access for All:  The Comprehensive Guide to Accessibility for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch”.  The book is an excellent reference guide to accessibility features in iOS devices and also gives step by step instructions for using these features with many popular apps.


The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration is a leader in technology and dedicated to disability hiring and inclusion.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Kenneth Silberman and Dr. Evelina Felicite-Mauric from the education department of NASA about internships, fellowships and other employment opportunities for students and professionals.

EOS 1703: Blind Driver Challenge, 01/11/17

Jan 9, 2017
National Federation of the Blind

Attitudes about what the blind can and cannot do have been challenged by the work of the National Federation of the Blind’s Jernigan Institute and their efforts to create a car that the blind can drive independently.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Mark Riccobono, President of the NFB, about this project and what it is like to drive a car without seeing.

EOS 1702: Guide Dogs - The Training, 01/04/17

Jan 4, 2017
Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc.

Did you ever wonder what is involved in training a guide dog or what the experience is like for the recipient of a dog?  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey walk through the process when they talk with Maria Nuzzi, a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor at Guide Dog Foundation and America’s Vet Dogs and Andrew Rubenstein, director of Marketing for the Foundation.

EOS 1701: Guide Dogs - An Overview 12/28/16

Jan 4, 2017

What is involved in getting and working with a guide dog?  Is a guide dog right for you?  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey address these and other questions with Carolyn Giambalvo, a Consumer Services Associate at Guide Dog Foundation and America’s Vet Dogs, her guide dog Alice, and Andrew Rubenstein, the Director of Marketing.

EOS 1652: Favorite iOS Apps, 12/21/16

Dec 19, 2016
Assistive Technology - About.com

There are hundreds of accessible apps for iPhones.  Many of these apps even perform similar functions.  But, which apps should one choose and which might be the most useful?  This week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk about some tips for using the iPhone with VoiceOver as well as some of Pete’s favorite apps and the ones he uses most often.

MD Support

Joining a low vision support group can be beneficial for sharing thoughts and ideas about living with low vision and meeting new friends.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Jim Fleming of Visionaries, a small support group in upstate New York, and Alice Crespo of Helping Hands for the Disabled, a large support group in New York City, about what they do.


Though Ken Perry and Josh Miehle are both blind, their lack of vision doesn’t prevent them from designing and building their own electronic hardware.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with them about the Blind Arduino Project as well as other tools that enable blind people of all ages to participate in the vibrant global culture of hardware prototyping.

EOS 1649: Orbit Reader 20 from APH, 11/30/16

Nov 28, 2016
American Printing House for the Blind

The Orbit Reader 20 is a refreshable Braille display with note-taking capability from the American Printing House with a price point dramatically lower than similar devices on the market today.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Ken Perry, a blind engineer and project lead, about the device, its functions, and how they achieved this low-cost design.


Emily K. Michael is a blind poet, musician, and writing instructor.  Her work has appeared in many publications and focuses on creative non-fiction topics such as disability, music, education, and ecology.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with her about her work and how she has overcome challenges in employment, getting published, and working in the classroom.

Meet Emily and read her blog.

Google Play

Android smart phones have become more accessible to the visually impaired.  But are they as accessible as an iPhone?  Is it time to reconsider?  We address these questions when hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Ana Garza, also known as Access Ana, author of a new book called “Getting Started With Android” about using Android devices with TalkBack.

Learn more about TalkBack.

EOS #1646: Studying Law in India, 11/09/16

Nov 7, 2016

Blind since birth, Rahul Bajaj is a law student who grew up in a rural village of India.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with him about some of the cultural and technical barriers faced by the blind in India.  The skills and approach he developed to overcome these challenges offer an important message for others in determining their own paths to success.


PEEK, a Portable Eye Examination Kit, converts a standard smart phone into both an ophthalmoscope for examining the inside of the human eye and a visual acuity tester.   Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with founder and director Dr. Andrew Bastawrous and lead software developer Richard Evans about how the PEEK system works and is being deployed.

EOS 1644: Currency Identification, 10/26/16

Oct 24, 2016
Federal Jobs

Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Leonard Olijar, director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing about current features to make US currency easier for visually impaired people to identify it, as well as their plans to make it easier still.  We’ll also discuss their smart phone app and free hardware device that can identify US currency for you.

EOS 1643 Travelling Solo, 10/19/16

Oct 17, 2016

Imagine traveling the world alone for months at a time if you were totally blind and partially deaf.  This week, hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Tony Giles who has done exactly that.  We’ll learn how he prepares for and manages his trips and also talk to him about some of the adventures recounted in his new book, “Seeing the World My Way”.

EOS 1642: BrailleNote Touch Tablet, 10/12/16

Oct 10, 2016

The BrailleNote Touch combines an Android-based tablet with a Braille display and detachable Braille keyboard to form a powerful note taker.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey speak with Greg Stilson, Blindness Products Manager from HumanWare about this new device and how it has been enhanced with the KeySoft experience.  We’ll also hear a demo of the device in action.


White Cane Safety Day celebrates blind and visually impaired people's achievements in the United States on October 15 every year.  This week Pete and Nancy look at a program making white canes available to underserved areas.