Juan Ruiz’ Biography

Professional Biography

“The bigger the goal, the more obstacles you’ll face. And, on the other side of that goal – is victory!”

– Multi-lingual: Fluent in Spanish and English; conversant in Italian and German
– Multi-cultural experience and interactions having worked in over a dozen countries on 4 continents.
– As a Perceptual Navigation instructor with World Access for the Blind, Juan has delivered a range of services to blind students and professionals throughout the U.S., western Europe , Latin America, Canada, Kenya, South africa, and Qatar.

Pertinent Life Experience
Blind from birth; born and raised in México
Grown up in California, USA
Living in Vienna, Austria since 2015

Work Experience
– One year instructional assistant for primary children for Anaheim City School district, in Anaheim California.
– 12 years Perceptual Navigation Coach for World Access for the Blind (logged over 2,500 hours of service assisting with and providing professional development workshops, seminars for higher education, private trainings for students and families, and technical consulting for academic science and research)
– Two years full time construction and landscaping supervisor,
– Seven years part time assistive technology instructor

Notable Achievements:
– CIF wrestling champion
– Helped to found the TeamBat program, which led to the foundation of World Access for the Blind
– First Perceptual Navigation and FlashSonar Coach to be hired and trained at World Access for the Blind
– Provided translation services and coaching assistance for the first foreign World Access for the Blind workshop in México
– Set Guinness World Record by invitation in Italy for blind bicycling, then broke that record also by Guinness invitation in turkey
– First Blind echolocator to be featured on National Geographic TV, which led to several subsequent NatGeo programs and articles about echolocation and FlashSonar
– Featured subject in multiple TV News segments and documentaries including:
– Discovery’s More Than Human, Real Super Humans, and Pen and Teller
– BBC’s Super Human Challenge
– the Jeff Probs Show
– Don Francisco Presenta
-Primer Impacto
– ABC Nightly News
– National Geographic TV’s Humanly Impossible
– two Japanese documentaries
– Appeared in multiple TV programs including Ripley’s Believe It or Not; Spiegel TV; Deutch Prisma; Arte Documentary; Fox News documentary (Seeing with Sound); HD Net’s World Report (Blind as a Bat: Seeing without Eyesight); CNN International; as well as various Italian, Austrian, Russian, British, German, and Chinese news and entertainment programs
– Written about in multiple popular periodicals including Men’s Journal, Orange County Register (several occasions), Mountain Bike Action Magazine, Bicycle Magazine, and a variety of Kenyan and Austrian newspapers
– First blind instructor to conduct seminars and workshops to higher education classes on rehab and mobility preparation in Austria and Italy
– First blind instructor to co-present a mobility workshop for the European German school’s for the blind headmasters conference
– First blind instructor to be appointed by the Austrian Government’s Ministry of Education to provide professional development training to all Mobility Specialists working with children throughout Austria
– Involved as co-instructor in the first South American research project to assess the viability of Perceptual Navigation and FlashSonar instruction

Professional aspirations
– to develop qualifications to provide regional management of Perceptual Navigation Services (E.G., Europe, West Africa, Latin America)
– To increase capacities and opportunities to deliver public awareness presentations, particularly for youth, education, and entertainment forums
– To further improve grasp of German and Italian
– To further pursue education in Business Administration

Hobbies and Interests
antique automotive restoration; computers; handyman work; reading and learning; outdoors hiking; travel